Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

OVC Student Veterinarian Externship Project: “B” is for Biosecurity

Each summer DVM students from the Ontario Veterinary College delve into practical experience at veterinary clinics across Ontario and additional locales. These blog posts are an opportunity to tag along with five of them this summer. This week student veterinarian Chelsea talks about biosecurity. Check out all the student blogs at www.ovc.uoguelph.ca/externship

 

Biosecurity, it’s more than just a buzz word when it comes to agriculture. Carrying out biosecurity practices is very important in large animal medicine, when dealing with animals all day and from multiple farms.

 

In animal agriculture, biosecurity can be defined as practices implemented to prevent or contain transmission of disease between farms or between individual animals on one farm.

 

There are three different factors that contribute to disease:

The host:
How susceptible is the animal? Does that animal have any natural immunity or immunity from vaccines? How old is the animal? (younger or older may be at higher risk)

 

The environment:

Is the environment favourable for the growth and survival of bacteria, viruses or parasites?

 

The agent or disease:

How ‘potent’ is the agent to the animal? How fast can it multiply?

 

As veterinarians we have to constantly consider these three factors and use our knowledge of diseases to prevent transmission to other animals.

 

Some simple methods of biosecurity that are used on farm to avoid transmission of disease from animals within a farm are as follows:

  • wash boots between different pens (i.e. when moving from the milking cows to the heifer cows)
  • go to naïve animals or ones with less immunity first (i.e. check out calves first and then go to older cows
  • wear gloves when working with the animals and wash your hands after (be sure to change gloves between animals)

 

Some methods of biosecurity that are used to avoid transmission of disease from one farm to another include:

  • changing coveralls between farms
  • cleaning and disinfecting boots between farms

 

As a veterinarian it is also important to remember that you are dealing with all kinds of diseases. Some diseases are ZOONOTIC (see personal experience below) which means that they can be transmitted from the animal to you. Not only is it important to prevent the spread of disease between the animals you are working with but it is also important to prevent disease transmission to yourself.

 

For example, this past week I got infected with ringworm. There are two nice patches on the inside of my right arm. Ringworm isn’t a worm as the name suggests but is actually caused by a fungus and is referred to as  “Dermatophytosis”. In cows, ringworm typically targets younger animals that have not yet been exposed to the agent. As a fungus, it grows in dark, moist places and can live for long periods in the environment. Due to a very wet spring, ringworm seems to have been a greater problem on some farms this year. This means I’ve been working with a large number of infected animals and that’s how I contracted it. Fortunately, ringworm is not typically a serious problem if it is identified and treated appropriately. And after my visit to the human ‘vet’, for the next little while I’m going to be putting anti-fungal cream on my arm twice a day. Here is a picture of what ringworm looks like in dairy cows and what it looks like on me!!

 

For more information about biosecurity check out this great factsheet from OMAFRA.

 

 

Views: 63

Comments are closed for this blog post

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Federal and British Columbia agriculture ministers host roundtable discussion with representatives of the provincial agriculture and agri-food sector

Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Lana Popham, British Columbia’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries held a virtual roundtable with British Columbia’s agricultural sector yesterday to listen to their concerns following the devastating floods and landslides and to discuss both immediate and long-term support for the British Columbia agriculture and agri-food industry. Extreme weather events in British Columbia have caused many agricultural producers and their families to struggle in extremely challenging circumstances as they deal with the loss of businesses, homes, livestock, crops and livelihoods. With over 800 farms in British Columbia currently under evacuation orders, the ministers recognized the producers’ courage and perseverance and indicated they are working together to make sure that producers have the resources they need to maintain their mental health and help rebuild their operations.

Maison Francine Leroux receives federal boost to make food more accessible in Drummondville

This week, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, highlighted an investment of up to $78,338 to Maison Francine Leroux under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund’s second phase. Established in 2020, Maison Francine Leroux is a non-profit organization that promotes intergenerational sharing through textile arts, reading and cooking in the community. The Maison Francine Leroux building contains three large rooms, including a collective kitchen, where community members of all ages can safely meet to socialize, share ideas, enjoy coffee or a meal together, and lessen the feeling of isolation.

2021 Dry Bean Seasonal Summary

Acreage, Planting and Harvest In 2020, Ontario dry bean acres were at their highest since 2007. This year, insured acres of dry beans totalled around 115,000 which is comparable to the 10-year average. Acreage of each market class declined in 2021, although the decrease in kidney bean acres was relatively small.

Farm management and mental health

In 2018, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Board of Directors took a step to address this issue, through mandating the creation of a ‘Farmer Wellness’ program. “The program’s purpose is to foster awareness and provide access to prevention, support, and training resources while developing strategic partnerships to further our efforts,” explains Sarah Plater Findlay, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s human resources consultant. One of those partnerships (which also involved other farming associations and government) supported the creation of a critical recent study called ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms: Exploring the Connection between Mental Health and Farm Business Management’ by Farm Management Canada (FMC).

Pork Producers Lobby Lawmakers On Issues

Preventing foreign animal diseases, addressing a shortage of agricultural workers and reauthorizing a livestock price reporting law are the primary issues on which pork producers will lobby their congressional lawmakers over the next two days, during the fall Capitol Hill fly-in of the National Pork Producers Council. More than 100 producers from across the country are expected to participate virtually in NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference. “These are critical but by no means the only issues of concern to U.S. pork producers,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Failure to address even one of these matters could make it very difficult for hog farmers to continue producing safe, nutritious pork for consumers around the globe. Our fly-in is an opportunity for producers to urge Congress to take action on important issues.”

© 2021   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service