Creating or updating biosecurity standards can be an elusive task.
Where do you even begin? According to David Reeves with the University of Georgia veterinary department, the key to a successful program is attitude.
To start, you must develop an unforgiving attitude, says Reeves. If you give a little on biosecurity standards, then you must be willing to accept a lot in
deterioration, he continues. Therefore, everyone on the farm must buy in to strict biosecurity standards.
A good way to establish involvement of the whole staff is to develop herd health goals.
When writing your goals consider:
1. Type of production unit you're running – commercial vs. seedstock.
2. Age of unit.
3. Facility location and its effect on disease introduction. Include proximity to other pigs, pig density in the area and physical barriers between you and other production units.
4. Production facility layout and design, including manure storage.
5. Health status of herd.
6. Health status of incoming seedstock.
7. Herd size, including ability to utilize size to separate production based on pig age or weight.
8. Other major factors that affect health level, such as housing, nutrition, genetics and management.
9. Cost of biosecurity procedures.
10. Cost of disease prevention, control and elimination.
To ensure biosecurity standards are met, require all employees to sign an agreement to abide by herd health goals, suggests Reeves.
Remember, you should write down goals for easy reference. You, your family and staff should review them periodically. This is particularly important for new employees.
Having the entire staff initiate herd health goals will promote the buy-in attitude, says Reeves. But remember, it's your responsibility to set the standard.