Farm Gate Is Best Defence Against Foreign Animal Disease

CANADA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the farm gate remains the best line of defence for livestock producers to protect their operations from becoming infected by foreign animal disease, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 9 June 2010
clock icon 2 minute read
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Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly contagious, sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven hooved animals including cattle and swine.

Outbreaks in Japan and South Korea have drawn renewed attention to the need for vigilance.

Dr Jim Clark, the manager of foreign animal disease and emergency management with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says, Canada is very aware of the ongoing presence of foot and mouth disease in a number of countries and does not trade in commodities with affected countries that would represent a risk to Canada.

Dr Jim Clark-Canadian Food Inspection Agency

In the case of Japan we have established a trading relationship but because of the FMD outbreak there we now have prohibited the entry of any animals or animal products or byproducts that might pose a risk... unless they are heat treated in a way that would satisfy us that the virus may have been destroyed.

We know that there's always an opportunity that the virus may enter the country no matter how strict our import requirements are.

The farm gate represents the best line of defense for the individual farmer so they should take measures that would restrict the opportunity for visitors from other countries especially the FMD affected countries to come into contact with their animals.

If they do have people that might want to travel to the farm they should exclude them for at least 14 days before they're allowed to visit and take the normal precautions from a biosecurity perspective that any farmer would want to institute.

Make sure that clean clothing is worn, boots are cleaned and disinfected before contact with the animals and to the degree possible there's no direct contact between the individuals and the animals themselves.

Dr Clark suggests biosecurity is something that needs to be engrained on a daily basis so that people that are practising effective biosecurity don't have to think about it, it just becomes part of the normal routine.

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