Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Biosecurity

Synonym(s): Safe life

Contributor(s): Sarah Binns, J Scott Weese

Introduction

  • The term biosecurity literally means safe life, and is derived from the Greek bios, life.
  • According to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (2001):

'Biosecurity& is the vital work of strategy, efforts and planning to protect human, animal and environmental health against biological threats. The primary goal of biosecurity is to protect against the risk posed by disease and organisms; the primary tools of biosecurity are exclusion, eradication and control&. Biosecurity is therefore the sum of risk management practices in defence against biological threats. 

  • Biosecurity measures are designed to reduce the likelihood of introduction of a disease onto premises or into a country or region. Biocontainment, or infection control   Infection control  , measures are designed to reduce the spread of disease on a premises and from one premises to another when infection is already present.
  • Biosecurity measures are often not specific to a particular disease or infectious agent. Rather, the are a collection of general measures that should be useful for prevention of most infectious agents of concern. Specific biosecurity measures for individual pathogens may be applied as needed. 
  • Equine diseases are transmitted in various ways, including direct contact between horses, aerosol, contaminated fomites, feed, water, vehicles or medical equipment, contact with feces, and insect or other animal vectors, including humans.
  • Key elements of biosecurity include various types of barrier, movement restrictions, and cleansing and disinfection.
  • Both biosecurity and infection control measures are designed to reduce the risk of disease transmission between and within species, including humans.
  • Biosecurity measures are based on a thorough risk assessment (see below).
  • Biosecurity measures can be designed and implemented at the international, national, regional and premises (including veterinary practices) levels.
  • Most recommendations on biosecurity for equine establishments are adapted from those for farm livestock, but the principles are the same.
  • Veterinarians are often the primary source of information about biosecurity for their clients, and veterinarians have unique expertise that is vital for national biosecurity and biological risk assessment.

Principles of biosecurity for equine premises

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Biosecurity for veterinary practices

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National biosecurity

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Risk assessment and other epidemiologic techniques

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Use of biosecurity in equine establishments

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Weese J S (2014) Infection control and biosecurity in equine disease control. Equine Vet J 46 (6), 654-660 PubMed
  • French N P, Gemmell N J & Buddle B M (2007) Advances in biosecurity to 2010 and beyond: towards integrated detection, analysis and response to exotic pest invasions. N Z Vet J 55 (6), 255-263 PubMed.
  • ONeil B D (2007) Advances in animal disease surveillance and biosecurity. N Z Vet J 55 (6), 254 PubMed.
  • Villarroel A, Dargatz D A, Lane, V M, McCluskey B J & Salman M D (2007) Suggested outline of potential critical control points for biosecurity and biocontainment on large dairy farms. JAVMA 230 (6), 808-819 PubMed.
  • Wenzel J G & Nusbaum K E (2007) Veterinary expertise in biosecurity and biological risk assessment. JAVMA 230 (10), 1476-1480 PubMed.
  • Traub-Dargatz J L, Dargatz D A, Morley P S & Dunowska M (2004) An overview of infection control strategies for equine facilities, with an emphasis on veterinary hospitals. Vet Clin Equine 20 (3), 507-520 PubMed.
  • Dargatz D A, Garry F B & Traub-Dargatz J L (2002) An introduction to biosecurity of cattle operations. Vet Clin Food Anim 18, 15 PubMed.
  • England J J (2002) Biosecurity: safeguarding your veterinarian:client: patient relationship. Vet Clin Food Anim 18, 373-378 PubMed.
  • Morley P S (2002) Biosecurity of veterinary practices. Vet Clin Food Anim 18, 133-155 PubMed.
  • Hueston W D & Taylor J D (2002) Protecting US cattle: the role of national biosecurity programs. Vet Clin Food Anim 18, 177-196 PubMed.
  • Smith D R (2002) Epidemiologic tools for biosecurity and biocontainment. Vet Clin Food Anim 18, 157-175 PubMed.
  • Wilson D W & Beers P T (2001) Global trade requirements and compliance with World Trade Organization agreements: the role of tracing animals and animal products. Rev Sci Tech 20 (2), 379-384 PubMed.
  • Wells S J (2000) Biosecurity on dairy operations: hazards and risks. J Dairy Sci 83, 2380-2386 PubMed.
  • Carpenter T E, McBride M D & Hird D W (1998) Risk analysis of quarantine station performance: a case study of the importation of equine infectious anemia virus-infected horses into California. Vet Diagn Invest 10 (1), 11-16 PubMed.
  • Bosman P, Bruckner G K  Faul A (1995) African horse sickness surveillance systems and regionalisation/zoning: the case of South Africa. Rev Sci Tech 14 (3), 645-653 PubMed.
  • Dwyer R M (1995) Disinfecting equine facilities. Rev Sci Tech 14 (2), 403-418 PubMed.
  • Ford W B (1995) Disinfection procedures for personnel and vehicles entering and leaving contaminated premises. Rev Sci Tech 14(2), 393-401 PubMed.

Other sources of information

Organisation(s)


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