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Canadian Dairy Farm Biosecurity Standard Introduced

Voluntary Biosecurity Standard Available for Canadian Dairy Farms

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) launched a biosecurity standard for all Canadian dairy farms. The new standard was developed over a two-year period in collaboration with the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and the CFIA.

The four elements of the biosecurity standard include the following:

•Animal health management
•Animal additions and movement
•Premises and management
•Personnel, visitors, vehicles and equipment

The biosecurity standard is a voluntary measure, but it’s a useful tool for farm operators, as it outlines control areas relating to animal health management, animal movement, premises management, conditions for workers, visitors, vehicles, and equipment. The ultimate goal of the biosecurity standard is to help farmers reduce the risk of disease entering their farm operation, as well as reducing the risk of a disease entering a neighbouring farm.

The standard states that farmers should have a herd health plan which includes practices on tracking animal’s health and also a procedure of how to manage disease risk. Some strategies to support the herd plan include – maintaining good relationship with your veterinarian, observing/ recording animal health status, identifying disease susceptibility, monitoring animal illness and or related deaths, and monitoring herd feed/watering and bedding.

The animal additions and movement component of the standard recommends that producers should be aware of the health status of all potential new animals before they  are purchased,  that animals be vaccinated and kept isolated away from the rest of the herd until disease risk be reduced, and lastly, that animal movement on the farm be predetermined.

The standard for premises management asks the producer to ensure that maintenance, cleaning and disinfection be properly maintained and that manure, waste and deadstock be handled in a prescribed manner. The farm operator also needs to provide workers with the materials and equipment necessary to operate machines and equipment safely and properly on the farm premises.

The CFIA reports that there are 12,746 dairy farms in Canada, that produce 7.66 billion litres of milk per year, with 450 milk processing plants. The sales of milk and dairy products amount to $10 billion a year to the economy.

The biosecurity standard should be used as a reference tool for all Canadian dairy farm operators.

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