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Equine Biosecurity

Biosecurity includes the principles, actions, and protocols that protect the health of animals by preventing them from acquiring an infectious disease or transmitting disease to another animal.

This can be accomplished by implementing physical barriers and hygiene practices. A well-planned biosecurity program will reduce infection and disease in your horse and/or herd, reduce costs for treatment of illness, and promote a stronger equine industry by preventing closure of farms, shows, exhibitions, and/or transport. Oftentimes, disease outbreaks can be prevented by conscientious owners and barn managers that recognize a problem and implement proper biosecurity measures.

One of the most important components to any infectious disease control program is appropriate vaccination of your horse. Your veterinarian can help you decide which vaccines are optimal for your individual horse, considering their risk of exposure, the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, and the immune competence of your horse.


 

 

While Traveling

1. Avoid travelling to an area where there has been a known disease outbreak.
2. Whenever possible, use your own trailer and avoid shipping with horses from other farms.
        -Make sure the trailer is clean and well-ventilated.
3. Bring water from home in case your horse does not like the water at the show grounds, or in
        case the only water source is a communal trough, which can be unsafe.
4. Spray or disinfect stalls at show grounds prior to putting your horse in the stall.
5. Every day, be sure to monitor your horse’s attitude, appetite, feed and water intake, and fecal
        output.
6. Try and keep interactions between your horse and horses from another barn minimal. Nose-to
        nose-contact, drinking from the same water bucket, and sharing supplies (tack, grooming tools)
        all increase the risk of disease transmission.
7. Try to discourage people who are walking through the show barns from petting your horses. A
        polite sign will often work well.
8. Be sure your horse it up to date on their vaccinations. Vaccinating at least 2 weeks prior to
        show season will ensure your horses are well-protected from many diseases they may
        encounter.

While at Home

1. Quarantine all new horses for 5-7 days.
        Be sure horses are quarantined a minimum of 40 yards away from other horses on premises.
        Be sure there are no shared buckets, water troughs, fence lines, stalls, etc. All horses should be properly vaccinated.
2. People who manage horses at a facility should know the health and nutritional status of each
        horse, maintain accurate and detailed health records, and have a vaccination protocol based on
        your veterinarian's recommendations.
3. Enhancing horses' resistance to infectious disease can begin by providing good nutrition, by
        providing housing with optimal air quality, and by reducing stress where possible.