Why is Biosecurity so important in my cattle operation?

MSU Extension Montana Nutrition Conference and Livestock ForumBy Dr. Jeanne M. Rankin, MSU Extension, Agro-Emergency Projects Coordinator- jeanne.rankin@montana.edu

This is the time of year that people are showing their cattle at large exhibitions across the country and exposing them to many other ranches and farms and different diseases and parasites. We don’t often think about the potential to bring home disease from shows that we are so excited to exhibit our animals in to advertise our great breeding programs.

We are busy feeding, clipping and prepping our animals and getting all of the feed and tack ready to go, we often forget to think about minimizing our animals’ risk of picking up an infection at the show. Our animals are tied next to others and may have the ability to be nose to nose with other animals or to share feed and water buckets, thereby increasing the risk of bringing home a disease.

Most diseases of any significance to beef cattle are spread via the respiratory or GI tract- BVD, Johne’s, or any of the shipping fever diseases (IBR, BRSV, Pasturella, Haemophilus or PI3) and take several days to a week to develop an infection in our show animal. Most people might be feeding them separately at home prior to the show but afterwards they are often turned out amongst the rest of that age group, able to spread any respiratory or GI secretions with everybody. By simply keeping them or any new additions to the herd penned separately for 2 -3 weeks we can avoid spreading a contagious disease to our entire herd.

I have heard stories of people going to cattle shows and coming home with either BVD or Johne’s. BVD can be managed and treated- of course with reproductive losses as a potential; but Johne’s disease is completely devastating and impossible to remove from your landscape once it is present. If we can apply good Biosecurity practices for the common diseases we will be able to minimize the risk of highly contagious diseases like FMD, wiping out our individual herd as well as the national herd.

Top 10 Livestock Biosecurity Tips

My top ten taken from my Farm First Biosecurity ™ program:

  1. Have a Bio-Security Plan posted, review it annually and stick to it.
    • Assess your risks (Animal movement, Disease risk, Facilities, Feed and bedding, Veterinarian, Human movement)
    • Manage the risks after identification
    • Communicate the mitigation factors (Signs, Boot wash, Employees, Visitors)
  2. Keep a Closed herd-limit/restrict non-natural additions
  3. Isolation pen for sick or purchased animals
  4. House common aged animals together-“All in-All out” Neonates are very susceptible to diseases and many neonatal diseases can be prevented by reducing exposure to older animals.
  5. Reduce stress of crowding by having adequate bunk space, shelter and limiting additions
  6. Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for environment- footwear, coveralls, foot baths, gloves etc.
  7. Separate cleaning utensils for sick pen and healthy pens. Different forks for hay versus manure pile
  8. Limit visitors from:
    • Similar species operations- Dictate fresh change of footwear and clothing before visiting your barn and pens
    • international visitors from livestock operations- Foreign Animal Diseases
  9. Wildlife/Pets Biosecurity
  10. Have an Emergency Preparedness/Evacuation Plan

Selected websites for further review

Please visit with your herd veterinarian for more information relative to managing/minimizing risks specific to your herd.

Gentle Hands Livestock Conference, June 27 and 28 in Shelby

This weekend, MSGA Local Affiliate, Marias River Livestock Association is holding the Gentle Hands Livestock Conference in Shelby, MT. Listen to the following podcast for more information about MRLA and the conference from Maggie Nutter of Sweetgrass. Also, go to MariasRiverLivestock.com for registration and details.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Shelby High School Auditorium

8:30 – 9:30am Registration and Coffee

9:30am Welcome and appreciation

9:45- 10:45am Jude Capper- “Lies, damned lies and statistics…exposing the myths about beef sustainability”

Break– snacks

11:00- 12:30pm Temple Grandin- Low Stress Livestock Handling with Q & A period

Move to Marias Fair Grounds

1:00pm Beef brisket Lunch cooked by Dick Kinyon
– Temple Grandin book signing
– Mini Trade show and Beer booth.

2:00-4:00pm Curt Pate- Live Demonstration Low Stress Livestock Handling, Corral Panels, alley and chute provided by Morand Industries.

4:00pm – Door Prize Drawings- (must be present to win)

8:30pm – The Coyote Club & Events Center (137 Main Street) is hosting LIVE music by the fantastic, fiddle-playing, hit-kickin’ The Crawford Bros. Band!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Foreign and Emerging Livestock Diseases

“These Livestock Diseases Could Put You Out of Business: Are You Ready?” Come and Learn How to Protect Your Livelihood!

Location: Comfort Inn and Suites

8:30-9:30am Registration Coffee, Tea and Donuts

9:30-9:35 Welcome and appreciation for sponsors

9:30-10:30 Introductions to Foreign and Emerging Animal Diseases, International and USA Regulatory Authorities, Export Markets: Dr. Carla Huston, Mississippi State University Beef Extension Specialist.

10:30-11:00 PEDV-Porcine Endemic Diarrhea Virus-Now Reportable with Premises management. Dr. Jeanne Rankin MSU Extension Agro-Emergency Projects Coordinator

11:00-11:15 Break- Snacks

11:15-12:00pm  Foot and Mouth Disease- what is it and what regulatory actions are in place; FAD Prep. Montana Department of Livestock and APHIS: Veterinary Services

12:00- 1:00 Foot and Mouth Disease in the United Kingdom-2001: Dr. Carla Huston, Mississippi State University Beef Extension Specialist.

1:00 – 1:45 Lunch- Provided

1:45-3:45 Real Life FMD Scenario, (table-top exercise) in Montana- Tommy Bass, MSU Extension, Livestock Environment Associate Specialist, Dr. Carla Huston, and Dr. Jeanne Rankin and regulatory veterinarians assisting

3:45-3:50 Break

3:50 -4:50 How can I protect my operation? Bio-Security Measures to limit any disease spread. Dr Jeanne Rankin MSU

Letting Your Passion be Seen! (Also on Saturday)

Share Your agriculture story via Facebook and Instagram. (If you eat, agriculture is part of your life.)
This program is geared towards people 13-17 years of age.

Location: Ringside Ribs (439 Harding Ave)

9:00-9:30 am Registration – refreshments

9:30 Welcome and appreciation for sponsors

9:45am – 2:00pm (Lunch provided at Noon)

Topics to be covered by Ryan Goodman, Dairy Carrie, Jude Capper

  • The Magic in Your Post- The surprising positive power you have to influence others.
  • Ready, Set… GO! Your account, hashtag? Forever out there, Privacy settings
  • Show what you Know- 98.5% of people don’t live on farms/ranches.
  • Selfie or Felfie, IT’s you close up and personal doing what you do.
  • Billboards on your phone.. making picture posts with meaning.

Marias River Livestock Association