Written by Mandi Neujahr, DVM
Biosecurity refers to a set of procedures that help protect people and animals against infectious agents and disease. Biosecurity is a critical consideration no matter how many animals you care for. Even if you have one show animal, you are part of the food animal industry and share the responsibility for keeping animals healthy-even those your neighbor may own. Particularly if you have show pigs, you’ve probably heard that the requirements for entry for swine to the Iowa State Fair have been heightened this year with concerns of ASF ever-looming. However, ASF should not be your only consideration with regards to biosecurity, and biosecurity is not specific to swine. Very broadly, my top recommendations to all are to consider ways to minimize unnecessary contact with other livestock/livestock waste and other people, avoid communal drinking water, and don’t share equipment with other exhibitors. Don’t overlook the very important aspect of biosecurity when bringing animals back home, if applicable. Animals who have been at a show should be kept separate and observed for signs of disease before going back with their herd mates. I would encourage exhibitors and their families to reach out to their veterinarian, 4-H leaders, and extension agents with questions and requests for resources on this important topic. Remember: when in doubt, DISINFECT!