Alberta Pork wants to help you stay biosecure—it’s our top priority. We must do everything we can to prevent disease from entering Alberta producers’ barns, which is why we perform biosecurity assessments for all producers free-of-charge.
Likewise, it’s incumbent upon you, as a producer, to take all necessary measures to protect your herd. When was the last time you reviewed your biosecurity protocols? Was it a result of a biosecurity assessment?
In 2011 – 2012 and again in 2013, Alberta Pork performed biosecurity assessment on 300 premises. In 2017, we assessed 157 premises to observe some of the improvements and existing challenges to biosecurity practices.
Let’s start with the basics:
Gates and signage
Do you have gates and signage at the entrance to your farm?
Gates create an obvious barrier between your operation and unwanted visitors, including people and animals, while signage informs everyone entering the property about the restricted and unrestricted areas of your farm.
From our assessments performed in 2012 and 2017, the number of premises with signage but no gates remained high; however, the number of premises with signage and gates at all entrances rose to over to 10 per cent. During this period, the number of premises with no signage or gates dropped, but with nearly one-third of all premises still falling into this category, it is still concerning.
Controlled and restricted access zones
By using signage and gates to establish controlled access zones (CAZ) and restricted access zones (RAZ), you can help protect your herd from contamination by outside agents, including foreign animals, people, equipment, feed and water. In the event of a breach, these zones help make contaminations easier to manage and contain with a production.
- Do you know how many people enter your premise?
- Do you know where they have been prior to entering your premise?
- Do you have a visitor intern log standard of practice?
These answers to these questions and more are imperative to biosecurity. If you would like to receive free biosecurity signing from Alberta Pork, or if you would like us to perform a free biosecurity assessment at your farm, contact Javier Bahamon (780-469-8982).