2016 - The Year of Biosecurity to Prevent Contagious Horse Diseases

Newsdate: Thu 02 June 2016 – 8:00 am
Location: GUELPH, Ontario

Biosecurity is more than a common buzz word but there are those that still balk; thinking it is a high tech or expensive concept. Fact of the matter is, there are plenty of simple steps to reduce the chances of your horse getting sick. Equine Guelph has the perfect health care tool to help you find out your farm’s biosecurity score.

Preventing the spread of contagious diseases when horses travel

Preventing the spread of contagious diseases when horses travel

Equine Guelph has named 2016 the Year of Biosecurity because the horse industry has unique challenges in preventing the spread of contagious diseases when the average horse frequently travels off its home property or encounters horses that have been off the farm.
© 2016 by Barbara Sheridan

With a simple 10 minute survey, the Biosecurity Risk Calculator, sponsored by Vétoquinol Canada Inc., provides a starting point to protecting your horse’s health with easy to implement practices for infectious disease control.

It is no coincidence, Equine Guelph has named 2016 the Year of Biosecurity. The focus has increased steadily over the years and the horse industry has its unique challenges with the average horse frequently traveling off property or encountering horses that have been off the farm.

In a recent podcast interview, Dr. Steve Roche, principle consultant for ACER consulting, talks about preventing disease from coming onto the farm such as viruses and bacteria. The concepts are simple: separating new or returning horses so they are not out with lower risk horses who travel far less, not touching mucus areas of horses with dirty hands or after touching unfamiliar horses and not sharing equipment.

Roche was involved in rolling out and following up with the racing industry in Equine Guelph’s “Spread the Word not the Germs” campaign including: posters, white-board videos and other resources distributed to Ontario race tracks. These Biosecurity resources and more are available on Equine Guelph’s website.

So, in addition to staying on the pulse for disease alerts and planning vaccinations with your veterinarian, check out the Biosecurity Risk Calculator covering nine categories:

1. Your Farm
2. Horse Movement
3. General Protocol
4. Feed Storage
5. Isolation/Quarantine
6. Cleaning/Disinfection
7. Vaccination
8. Deworming
9. Veterinary Care

Find out if there are extra steps your farm could be implementing to help reduce the risk of infectious disease.

Story: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

Horses that play together, stay together, according to the new National and Facility Level Biosecurity Standard for Equines. See unit six for information about new arrivals and returning horses and the best practices in biosecurity.

Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole.

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

Author picture

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..