Bio–security and bio–safety may sound as two different words but their meaning is to achieve a single objective which is a set of practices brought into use to avoid introducing disease agents onto some premises; to be precise a farm where dairy animals are kept. Disease causing agents can be bacteria, virus, fungi or any other toxic or harmful agents that can cause damage and risk the health of an entire set of animals in a facility.

  1. First and foremost the most important point to start assessing and implementing the bio – security and bio – safety measures is to identify the disease or agent of concern for the dairy farm.
  2. This step will allow focusing on the cause of the spread and the immediate measures required to eradicate the same by eliminating from among a dozen possibilities.
  3. The next step is to identify and assess the critical control points that will help in prevention of transmission of the disease causal agents on the dairy farm.

1.Off- Premises Cattle
This includes all the animals that have been in facilities other than the subject dairy farm: markets, shows, temporary housing and other farms or veterinary clinics. The best control method to avoid introduction of disease via off- premises dairy herd of cattle or other animals is the establishment of an isolation area.
2. Feedstuffs
Many feedstuffs nowadays are purchased and therefore can originate from multiple locations. Visual Inspections of feedstuffs may be the best that a producer can do because testing all batches of feedstuff for any disease causing agent is impractical and thus bio–security and safety can be compromised or breached in this area. However, producers can easily store samples of every feedstuff until that batch is consumed without any incidents.
3. Water
Two situations need to be considered here separately; the water source and the water delivery system. Both can become contaminated with disease causing agents like toxins from spills or pathogens from manure contamination. Water quality should be tested regularly so as to avoid the threat to bio–safety from such sources.
4. People
Dairies that have hired personnel are at risk of exposure to pathogen from other dairy animals that these personals may be handling outside the dairy farm. Educating personnel in basic hygiene and disinfection will help prevent introduction of disease causing pathogens from outside sources.
The above mentioned factors can also be considered as the key principles as they are the ones which if not monitored will lead to a crisis.


Bio – containment reduces or prevents the movement or spread of infectious diseases once they have entered the dairy farm and infected some of the few animals. It is a bio- safety and security measure that needs to be taken so as to prevent havoc. Multiple management practices can create or encourage bio- containment risks.
New born calves and peri – parturient cows are the most susceptible to disease. Therefore, these animals should never be kept far away from the general population. The most common problem management areas are described as below:

New – born Calves

New born calves are the most susceptible group of animals on a dairy farm. It is important to practice good colostrum management to ensure good immunity. To accomplish this, it is important that cows are suitably vaccinated during the dry period. Additionally it is important to ensure that the colostrum and feeding equipment are not contaminated with manure which would counteract the benefits that colostrum provides.
To prevent exposure of new born calves to pathogens from cows, it is crucial to provide cows with a clean and disinfected individual calving pen where they can avoid the stress of being with other cows.

Feeding feed refusals to calves

Feed refusals from high milk producing cows are fed to calves in many dairies so as to avoid losing the nutrients contained in this expensive and nutritive portion. The problem with this feed is that they have been exposed to the oro – nasal fluids of the cows; which may contain pathogens. It is recommended to feed these refusals only to the older calves that have the adequate protection required from respiratory pathogens by vaccination.

Example of one of the diseases among many which requires proper and adequate bio- security, safety and containment measures so as to prevent it from spreading further

Bovine Virus Diarrhea

BVD is a viral disease of cattle and other ruminants that is caused by the bovine viral diarrhea virus. BVD eradication is possible following whole herd blood testing and elimination of all PI carrier animals. Moreover if farmers go for eradication then strict herd bio- security and safety measures must be maintained to prevent the re- introduction of the virus; as if not the herd will become fully susceptible to the infection.


Bio- security, bio- safety and bio- containment measures in dairy farms should be monitored on a regular basis to identify new control methods and to further refine the program to prevent introduction and spread of disease agents on the dairy farms.

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