11 Best Practices to Implement Biosecurity in Dairy Cattle


It’s not just the parasites and bacteria, the biological or biochemical elements are equally perilous and have severe effects—seldom fatal—on the dairy animals. Such substances are carriers of infections and diseases penetrating the animals through unhygienic sources like people, vehicles, and equipment. Thereby, biosecurity as a tool is implemented to keep cattle healthy, improve product quality and economic output of the farm by controlling the spread of diseases and avoiding introduction of new infections into the farm and animals. We’ve curated a list of good practices for biosecurity that could help in curbing the menace caused by harmful biological agents.

  1. The farms should be hedged by barricades, gullies, canals, flower or other natural vegetation to inhibit disease transmission through infected or dirty stray animals.

  1. Maintain a hygiene standard in and around the barn and limit the entry of personnel to attend the animals. Various barriers may be put up to control the same say foot baths at entry/exit points, clean clothes/shoes/gloves for farmers and visitors, etc.

  1. Wash and sterilize vehicles and equipment if they’ve been exposed to other farm animals before and after the next use. It helps in maintaining the highly hygienic environment.

  1. Before purchasing new animals, their health status must be checked and verified from dependable sources. Doing this solves two purposes— one, an insight into the animal’s history (record of illness, medication, lactation cycles, overall health, etc.) can be obtained, and two, a farmer can choose an animal with good health.

  1. The records of diseases, treatment, and vaccination must be considered and understood, and appropriate vaccines against prevailing conditions must be given.

Ration Balancing in a Cost Effective Way

  1. Keep the new animals in seclusion for at least a month before they integrate and mingle up with other herd-mates.

  1. Animals in different age groups and physiological phases must be grouped accordingly, and proper management practices should be implemented for each.

  1. Dead bodies of animals should be disposed immediately at a place far away from the farm following right procedure and sanitization rules as dictated by the municipal laws.

  1. Farmers should be acquainted with animal husbandry information, health management practices, and biosecurity and must be assessed periodically.
  1. Check the new animals for diseases like bluetongue, paratuberculosis (Johne’s disease), Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD), salmonellosis, tuberculosis, bovine rhinotracheitis, leptospirosis, etc.

  1. A document of protocols briefing about animals’ health, breeding, and feeding management must be laid down, which should be followed by all farmers, personnel, vets, and visitors visiting the farm to maintain hygiene standards.

Timely and efficient medication and vaccination can control many of the diseases in the dairy cattle. Maintaining proper fences as described, reducing disease prevalence by measures like biosecurity is beneficial. Following four critical principles of biosecurity— a selection of healthy animals, their isolation from the rest of the herd, movement control and sanitation—diminishes the risks of new infections affecting the cattle farm and financial viability.

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