Biosecurity procedures are required to prevent, reduce or eliminate biological risks or hazards. The first step in a biosecurity program is to identify the risks/hazards that are prevalent in your area and commodity. Knowing the hazards as well as their potential problems and mode of action will help you in putting an effective biosecurity program together.

Most biological risks pertain to disease pathogens. Disease in livestock and poultry is characterized as a departure from the animal’s normal health; this includes any condition that impairs normal bodily functions.

Diseases result from indirect causes that reduce resistance or predispose the animal to disease or direct causes by infectious organisms or non-infectious conditions (eg. nutrition, injury, etc.) that reduce immune response.

Biological hazards of infectious pathogens and non-infectious conditions can be divided into the following Biological Hazards:
1. Bacterial
2. Viral
3. Fungal
4. Protozoal
5. Parasites
6. Environmental
7. Nutritional

Examples of Biological Hazards that Effect Livestock & Poultry

Effects of Hazards
Biological hazards lead to disease, stress, suppressed growth, loss of feathers, fur or hair, production level reductions, lethargy, unthriftiness, lameness, mortality, increased costs, reduced income, etc.

Some contagious diseases can cause epidemics on poultry farms, public alarm, and cancellation of events like shows and sales, long expensive quarantines and clean-ups that can lead to severe personal and financial losses.

Some of these disease pathogens are known as zoonosis, which are pathogens that can infect humans along with animals. Some strains of Salmonella and Avian Influenza are examples of these. Recent history has shown that public concern and frenzy over these types of pathogens can be very devastating for the commodity involved.

The second step in a biosecurity program is to identify the sources of these infections or pathogens.

Sources of Infectious Pathogens
– Rodents, wild birds, domestic pets
– Flies, beetles, mites
– Water sources
– Feed
– People
– Equipment
– Vehicles
– Other poultry or livestock
– Environment

Pathogenic microorganisms are invisible to the naked eye but can be found in huge numbers in materials like water, dust, organic materials and bio-films on equipment and building walls and floors, etc. This means that even a particle of dust or drop of water may contain an infective dose of a pathogen. Small amounts of contaminated material can be hidden on the above disease sources allowing pathogens to be transported onto or off of a farm from one group of animals to another. Microbes that cause little effect in one type of animal or poultry can be devastating to another.

Hands, footwear, clothing and hair can harbor these microorganisms. Wild animals and pests can harbor pathogens as carriers of the disease or physically on their exterior. New animals introduced to an operation can spread pathogens similarly