Welcome to Nova Scotia’s Virtual Farm!
Biosecurity is the key to the future health and prosperity of our individual farms and our animal industries. By addressing some key areas on your farm, you can greatly minimize the risk of exposing your animals to diseases, pests and predators. By minimizing your risks, you wil also be reducing the spread of diseases to other farms – a win for you, and for the industry as a whole.
Please use this website as a ‘virtual’ training tool for ideas and visual presentation of changes that can be made on farm to help lockdown your facilities and keep your farm safe and operational! Remember, there is a cost associated with biosecurity, but only if your facility does not have a biosecurity program in place. The un-recoupable losses in product and mortality from a disease outbreak would be devastating and unrecoverable for most farming operations. Operations that do not have proper biosecurity protocols in place have not implemented the very basics of animal care and animal health on their operation.
What is Biosecurity?
Biosecurity is the security or protection of animal and plant resources from biological invasion, contamination and threats.
This biosecurity process is accomplished by the exclusion, eradication and reduction of biological risk factors like disease pathogens, pests and predators. These measures provide protection from introducing infectious pathogens, parasites and diseases to an operation, prevents undue stress factors on animals and keeps animals from falling prey to predators.
Infectious agents or disease pathogens are invisible to the eye except under a microscope. They can multiply exponentially very quickly to great numbers. They will cause great havoc to the animal if allowed to invade a premise. When established they will cause problems on your operation with increased mortality, poor performance and growth, poor production rate, reduced product quality, reduced food safety, reduced saleable product, increased production costs and reduced overall income.
Biosecurity is a preventive process against disease, minimizing the risk and frequency of disease.
Whether a disease pathogen, pest or predator; each has the same trait of being opportunistic, where if biosecurity is lax or missing they will take full advantage and cause your poultry or livestock great harm.
Biosecurity is not only about preventing the introduction of disease to a facility but also if disease is present, reducing or limiting the spread of the disease agent on and off the farm.
Is Biosecurity Mandatory?
Not all livestock and poultry commodities and operations are involved in an OFFSAP program, Disease Emergency Planning, Livestock/Poultry insurance program or under a customer’s product quality/safety standards that set minimum biosecurity and food safety requirements.
Federally, the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) has only put out national biosecurity guidelines for avian species. Other animal commodity’s biosecurity guidelines are in the works. It has been the devastating personal and financial cost to producers, the agricultural industry, the public and government of dealing with FADs like AI that has driven the federal government to address this health prevention issue and begin to set protocols that will eventually become standard practices for the animal industry. The livestock and poultry commodity groups need to be fully engaged with CFIA in the development of biosecurity protocols for their agricultural sector.
In short, you have to have a proper biosecurity program for your animal production operation.
Perennia, as part of the Canada-Nova Scotia Bilateral Agreement under Growing Forward, the new policy framework for agriculture, has developed this Nova Scotia Bio-Security Implementation Program Virtual Farm website.