Biosecurity is a set of protocols or precautions used to minimize the risk of introducing an infectious disease into an animal population, and to prevent the spread of disease within that population. The protocols and precautions include proper cleaning, disinfection and precautionary methods of ensuring that diseases are not carried from one premise to another.

Good Biosecurity practices should be used any place where animals are kept and especially at farms, shelters/rescues, kennels, animal foster homes and pet stores. Diseases can be spread through the air, direct contact (animal to animal) or indirect contact with an infected animal (through equipment, accessory items, vehicles and clothes). To prevent the transmission of various diseases the following sanitary suggestions should be followed:

  • Clean animal housing, bowls, dishes and other feeding and watering containers daily or more often when necessary.
  • After items are cleaned they should be properly disinfected.
  • When moving animals always clean and disinfect the area where the animal will be kept and then clean and disinfect the area where the animal was moved from.
  • Wear clean coveralls or smocks to handle and care for animals.
  • If caring for sick animals, take care of healthy animals first. Change clothes and wash hands prior to moving from one group of animals to another.
  • When introducing new animal(s) on the premises assure the animal(s) is healthy. Isolate new animals from those already on the property for an appropriate period of time. This allows incubating diseases to emerge without infecting an entire group.
  • Do not use or allow equipment to enter the premises unless it has been properly cleaned and disinfected prior to entering the premises.
  • Foot baths used to disinfect footwear of people coming and going from animal areas can be used.
  • Disposable or clean coveralls should be worn by people entering the animal areas.

Animal owners are urged to look at the type of animal operation that they have and institute good Biosecurity procedures to protect animal health.