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Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard

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Table of Contents

Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard: Summary

1. Manage & minimize animal movement risks

2. Manage The Movement Of People, Vehicles, Equipment, and Tools

3. Manage Animal Health Practices

4. Educate, Plan, Record


The primary objective of this Implementation Manual is to provide Canada's beef cattle producers with information that will assist them in implementing the Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard. Key principles of the Standard are to:

A second objective is to assist those producers who wish to establish Biosecurity Plans specific to their operations, by providing them with information enabling them to prepare the key elements of such a plan:

The Standard and Implementation Manual are some of the tools that are available to producers who wish to better understand and apply biosecurity. Given the breadth of subject matter and complexity of various operations, these or any other tools should not be construed as the only such tools a producer should use.

Biosecurity is increasingly important to individual operations and to the industry as a whole. Producers are encouraged to regularly review the biosecurity of their operation and to make use of all available tools while doing so, including the involvement of their veterinarian.

A Biosecurity Plan is the critical component of most disease prevention strategies.

Format of this Manual

The Standard itself provides the basic Principles, supported by Target Outcomes, for managing disease within the beef cattle industry.

This Implementation Manual is organized to align with the Standard and provides producers with further explanations and information for each of the Target Outcomes. It specifically addresses:

Development of the Standard

The Standard was developed through consultation led by industry and involving all sectors of the beef cattle industry, together with a broad range of technical advice from government and academia.

Introduction to the Implementation Manual for Canada's Beef Cattle Biosecurity Standard

Why are biosecurity standards important?

Producers can adopt or enhance biosecurity within their operation to help:

While reportable foreign animal disease outbreaks in Canadian cattle are rare, the impacts are readily apparent to beef cattle producers, as evidenced following the identification of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada.

Canada's beef cattle industry relies upon trade and would be devastated if a highly contagious and infectious disease like FMD were to occur. The impact to the industry and the economy would result in multi-billion dollar losses.

What is biosecurity in the Canadian beef cattle industry?

The Canadian On-Farm Beef Cattle Biosecurity Standard is essentially a set of risk management practices. These practices are designed to assist producers in managing disease on all types of Canadian beef cattle operations.

For the purposes of this manual, we will use the following definitions for biosecurity, disease and production area. Additional terms are defined in the glossary in this manual.

Biosecurity (definition): those practices that prevent or mitigate disease from entering, spreading within, or being released from operations that may contain livestock.

There is no single definition for biosecurity and it is refined to meet the needs of different situations, applications, and organizations. This definition includes common themes from definitions prepared by different animal health groups from around the world, and is applicable to the livestock industry.

Disease (definition): a broadly applied term encompassing the introduction, transmission, spread and/or existence of a range of pests, pathogens and other disease-causing agents, including toxins.

This definition includes the agent, its effect on the animal (ill health) and its transmission, which are the risk events being managed. The definition chosen here allows us to address all forms of disease, although the emphasis throughout is contagious disease.

Production Area (definition): the operation's corrals, pens, barns and pastures where livestock are or may be kept.

Who practices biosecurity and where does it occur?

Producers are not alone in practicing biosecurity; many organizations / government bodies are involved, with a broad range of responsibilities, including:

At the farm level, biosecurity practices are being identified and incorporated into Standards for many Canadian agri-commodities. The Canadian On-Farm Beef Cattle Biosecurity Standard sets out the practices for beef cattle producers.

What diseases are of concern to your animals?

Some diseases of beef cattle in Canada include:

Reportable diseases represent a significant threat to animal or human health, or the economy, and require control or eradication actions.

Producers and those caring for cattle must immediately notify the CFIA (see Schedule 7 for contact information) of the presence of a Reportable disease or any fact indicating its presence. Producers should also notify their veterinarian and the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian/Chief Veterinary Officer in their respective province.

Getting the right balance - cost and benefit

There are costs associated with biosecurity practices. Cash outlays for new equipment are relatively easy to measure. The additional time and effort to undertake new and different management practices are more difficult to measure, but are just as important.

Perhaps most difficult to measure are the direct benefits of adopting biosecurity practices. It is difficult to determine when disease threats to the herd are eliminated by good biosecurity practices if the health of the herd remains unchanged. It is only when animals become ill with a contagious disease that we know that biosecurity failed.

The results of implementing biosecurity can take time to become apparent and it is often difficult to attribute to a particular change in practices. For instance, what are the benefits of avoiding a disease outbreak?

Given the realities of tangible costs and benefits that are difficult to measure, the information provided here is intended to clearly reduce the presence and spread of disease. Less disease means healthier, more productive animals, lower death loss and, in turn, greater income-generating capacity for the herd.

Achieving the right balance between the costs and benefits of new biosecurity practices will vary significantly between operations.

Most producers will need to make an intuitive or qualitative decision about adopting specific biosecurity practices on their operation: do the perceived benefits outweigh the perceived costs?

Good records can help in making an informed decision at the outset, before adopting certain biosecurity measures. They can also help in evaluating the merit of past decisions.

Biosecurity is simple things, done right, every day.

Getting Started

Reviewing and/or developing a biosecurity program may feel like an overwhelming task; however, the tools in this implementation manual will facilitate the process. Biosecurity is a team effort and we suggest that you involve your staff, members of your family and your veterinarian. You will quite possibly consider other material as well.

To simplify the process of reviewing and/or developing a biosecurity program, break it down into manageable steps using a structured approach:

Step 1

Create a list of the locations of all land/sites used by the operation for cattle production and identify the key activities that occur there.

Documenting the locations of all land used for cattle production, providing a brief description of the land/area, and identifying the key activities that occur there provides a summary of the farming operation. This facilitates biosecurity planning, particularly the ability to identify and structure movement and traffic flows between sites.

Step 2

Prepare a Farm Diagram(s): see Figure 2 below.

Preparing a farm diagram allows you and others to quickly identify key aspects of the farm operation, traffic flows, areas that are creating difficulty managing the site, and (following some planning) what adjustments might be made to improve farm biosecurity practices.

If multiple land parcels / different locations are being used to raise cattle, focus on the sites where herd health management activities occur, including those sites with barns, pens, corrals, chutes, and treatment areas. Crown pasture and leased pasture/range, while important sites at which to manage risk, pose obvious difficulties when establishing and depicting zones and traffic flows; written notes for staff on managing the risks may suffice for these.

This manual makes reference to farm layout and traffic flow. "Farm layout" refers to the physical location of facilities, i.e. farmyard, holding pens, handling facilities, manure storage etc. "Traffic flow" refers to the routes by which cattle, people, and vehicles move to, from and between facilities within the operation, i.e. routes to and from handling facilities, manure storage, roadways etc.

Farm layout and traffic flow can result in risks that contribute to disease, and therefore are important to biosecurity. The following diagram and details provide additional information as to how this occurs.

Diagram of a common to the Beef Cattle Industry. Description follows.
Description of Farm Diagram

Figure 2 depicts 3 beef production scenarios commonly encountered in Canada - these include Feedlots, Pastures and Ranges.

Located at the far left is the Feedlot Scenario in which the production area (corrals, pens, pastures and range) are represented by a yellow rectangle situated within a larger Farmyard (which may include a house, office, garage, equipment storage, parking) represented by a red rectangle.

Moving to the right is the Pasture Scenario in which a small farmyard (red rectangle) is contained within a much larger Production area (yellow rectangle). The production area is bounded by surrounding lands (represented by a green rectangle).

At the far right is the Range Scenario in which multiple range production areas (yellow rectangles) are depicted. Some range production areas may be adjacent to one another, while others are separated by varying distances. A farmyard (red rectangle) is located distant from any of the range production areas (yellow rectangle)

Figure 2: Farm Diagram

Most beef cattle operations are loosely based on the operational types depicted by the simple farm diagrams above

Most operations will also have the following facilities:

Surrounding lands: Use a diagram, aerial photo, or satellite image to create a farm diagram for your operation. Identify the outer boundaries of the Farmyard in amber, and the Production Areas in red. Knowing the boundaries between these areas will help you establish and maintain appropriate levels of biosecurity for different areas within your operation. Producers generally want higher biosecurity in the Production Area, where cattle may be held.

Identify the current location of specific facilities – This is your farm layout, and it may include the farmyard and access points, production areas and access points, road or commonly used path ways, residences, visitor parking, personnel parking, the deadstock holding area, feed storage and feeding areas, manure storage, manure storage for trucks being "cleaned out" prior to loading, segregation and sick animal holding areas, waterers, water courses and other significant facilities. Certain facilities can contribute to disease risks when they are located inside the Production Area, e.g. visitor parking, deadstock pick-up, and farm deliveries. By identifying the risks, there is an opportunity to reduce the risk by moving the facilities in question or establishing procedures to minimise them.

Considering traffic flows relative to the various facilities noted above may identify additional disease risks. For instance, routine movement through or past segregation or sick pens is a disease risk. A producer who is aware of such risks may have the opportunity to reduce them by altering traffic flows at some future time.

Refer to your farm diagram as you read this manual to identify and develop solutions to issues that are biosecurity risks.

Step 3

Review the broad components of a biosecurity program. There are 4 pillars:

Review the primary activities that occur in your farm operation as they pertain to each of the pillars – Refer to the Summary of the Standard to assist in this process. The objective is to familiarize yourself with the broad categories of biosecurity and begin thinking about how the broad activities of your operation can be slotted into that framework.

Some of the activities may not pertain to the farm operation and can be skipped over (for the time being). At a later date, you may want to read and consider how the biosecurity principles in these other sections might be altered and put to use in addressing difficulties encountered on your site.

Step 4

Biosecurity Self-Assessment

Conduct a self-assessment of the biosecurity practices on the farm – there is a self assessment tool provided to assist with this. Indicate on the assessment whether the activity occurs most or all of the time (yes, Y), some of the time (sometimes, S), rarely or never (no, N), or is not applicable (N/A). Note: Do not identify elements as not applicable if they pertain to the farm operation, but are either not being done or you do not consider it important [e.g. If you introduce animals into the herd from an outside source, but do not isolate them or have an isolation area, identify the practice as (no, N)].

Step 4 – Biosecurity Self Assessment Checklist

Section 1
Step 4 – Biosecurity Self Assessment Checklist - Section 1
1. Biosecurity Practice: Manage and Minimize Animal Movements: Commingling, High-Risk and Highly Susceptible Animals: Do You… Yes Sometimes No N/A Notes
Take measures to limit the contact of your herd with animals from other operations? Box Box Box Box
Does this include ensuring that there is no fence-line contact with animals of other operations? Box Box Box Box
Does this include separating/removing cattle from other operations, which inadvertently may have become mixed with yours, as soon as possible? Box Box Box Box
Operate a closed herd by raising your own replacement animals and using your own bull or a health-tested bull from an outside source? Box Box Box Box
Consistently apply health practices to incoming animals (for all targeted diseases) before introducing them to the herd? Box Box Box Box
Consistently apply health practices to incoming animals or to animals that are returning, before re-introducing them to the herd? Box Box Box Box
Do these practices involve carefully observing animals for signs of illness? Box Box Box Box
Do these practices involve segregation? Box Box Box Box
Do these practices involve vaccination? Box Box Box Box
Do these practices involve testing for diseases? Box Box Box Box
Have designated areas been set aside for segregating new cattle? Box Box Box Box
Have you established criteria (e.g. negative test results, minimum length of time for segregation, etc.) segregated cattle must meet before they enter the main herd? Box Box Box Box
Do you place sentinel animals from your own herd with the segregated new cattle to monitor for disease? Box Box Box Box
Do you attempt to obtain animal health information before buying cattle, especially breeding stock (disease test results, vaccination and treatment history, (etc.)? Box Box Box Box
Do you attempt to obtain animal health information before commingling your cattle with cattle from other operations? Box Box Box Box
Segregate sick animals for treatment and care? Box Box Box Box
Work from younger or healthier animals to older higher risk animals, in your normal daily routine? Box Box Box Box
Use separate equipment or clean and disinfect equipment when working with sick animals? Box Box Box Box
Keep cattle of different age groups penned separately (does not apply to the housing of cow/calf pairs)? Box Box Box Box
Use your own trucks for transporting stock? Box Box Box Box
Use trucks from an outside source that have been cleaned and disinfected, to transport stock? Box Box Box Box
Number of Responses
Section 2
Step 4 - Biosecurity Self Assessment Checklist - Section 2
2. Biosecurity Practice: Manage the Movement of People and Vehicles, Equipment and Tools: Do You… Yes Sometimes No N/A Notes
Limit access to your animals to only those individuals required for their care and handling? Box Box Box Box
Restrict visitor access to your animals if the visitors have had recent (within 48 hours) contact with livestock / been on livestock premises? Box Box Box Box
Require visitors to clean and disinfect footwear or wear farm-designated footwear for entry to Production Area? Box Box Box Box
Require visitors to wear freshly laundered clothing or farm-designated clothing for entry to the Production Area? Box Box Box Box
Require equipment to be visibly clean if it will come into contact with animals? Box Box Box Box
Wet clean (wash) treatment tools between each use on sick animals (e.g. balling guns, stomach tube, etc.)? Box Box Box Box
Include a disinfection step in the cleaning process for treatment tools between each use on sick animals? Box Box Box Box
Apply sanitary procedures (wet cleaning) to equipment that was used for a "dirty" task such as handling manure or deadstock, before using it for a "clean" task like feeding? Box Box Box Box
Have gates at access points to your Farmyard and Production Area and ensure they are kept closed to prevent access by visitors? Box Box Box Box
Ensure fences and gates are maintained to prevent unplanned commingling of your animals with those from another operation? Box Box Box Box
Post biosecurity signs at access points to your Farmyard and Production Area? Box Box Box Box
Post procedures for visitors on the requirements necessary for entering the farm or production area? Box Box Box Box
Promptly remove dead animals from animal holding areas? Box Box Box Box
Prevent live animal access to deadstock storage areas? Box Box Box Box
Prevent live animal access to manure storage areas? Box Box Box Box
Take measures to prevent manure runoff, including that from neighbouring operations, from spreading to other areas of your operation? Box Box Box Box
Control pests that could spread disease (rodents, birds etc.) when possible? Box Box Box Box
Number of Responses
Section 3
Step 4 - Biosecurity Self Assessment Checklist - Section 3
3. Biosecurity Practice: Manage Animal Health Practices: Do You… Yes Sometimes No N/A Notes
Have a veterinarian that is familiar with your operation and herd health practices? Box Box Box Box
Have a herd health plan? Box Box Box Box
Do you review the heard health plan at least annually with your veterinarian? Box Box Box Box
Does the herd health plan include a herd vaccination plan? Box Box Box Box
Do you read and follow instructions provided on the manufacturer's labels for the handling and use of mediations/vaccinations? Box Box Box Box
Regularly monitor and inspect animals for signs of illness (e.g. daily where / when possible)? Box Box Box Box
Obtain a veterinary diagnosis for animals that appear to have died from disease or an unknown cause? Box Box Box Box
Know the health status of neighbouring livestock herds? Box Box Box Box
Purchase feed/supplements from suppliers who can verify the origin of the products and/or the production practices used? Box Box Box Box
Take measures to ensure feed and bedding is properly stored after harvest or delivery, including monitoring for contamination, mould and overall quality? Box Box Box Box
Remove old feed and manure from troughs, feedbunks and feeders before adding fresh feed? Box Box Box Box
Clean areas around troughs and feedbunks frequently by scraping? Box Box Box Box
Test water sources for cattle (particularly open water sources such as streams, ponds, dugouts) at least annually for disease pathogens and pests? Box Box Box Box
Number of Responses
Section 4
Step 4 - Biosecurity Self Assessment Checklist - Section 4
4. Biosecurity Practice: Educate / Plan/ Record: Do You… Yes Sometimes No N/A Notes
Maintain a written biosecurity plan? Box Box Box Box
Ensure all personnel are familiar with the biosecurity plan? Box Box Box Box
Know what your typical animal health situations are? Box Box Box Box
Have a standard response for typical animal health situations? Box Box Box Box
Know how you would determine if there was an unusual animal health situations? Box Box Box Box
Know how you would respond to an unusual health situation? Box Box Box Box
Keep vaccinations and treatment records for your animals? Box Box Box Box
Do you record disease incidents? Box Box Box Box
Do you record animal deaths and the suspected cause of death? Box Box Box Box
Keep these health records on an individual animal basis? Box Box Box Box
Keep a record of incoming cattle and where they were sourced from? Box Box Box Box
Keep a record of visitors to your operation? Box Box Box Box
Do you record if the visitors have had been previous (within the last 48 hours) contact with livestock? Box Box Box Box
Number of Responses

Step 5

Analyse Your Self-Assessment

For each section of the self assessment, identify how many responses were yes, sometimes and no.

Analyse Your Self-Assessment
Section Number of Yes Responses Number of Sometimes Responses Number of No Responses

Interpreting the Results

Yes Responses: Safe – meeting basic biosecurity practices, no action required.

Sometimes Responses: Warning – potential for failure of a biosecurity element, some action required.

No Responses: Alert – biosecurity gap identified, action required.

Which section has the largest number of no responses? This area requires the most action and might be the first area for you to focus on.

Prioritize the list - which are the most important risks?

All of the elements of a biosecurity program are important: the failure to address any one biosecurity element can result in a breakdown of the program and disease in the herd. However, some biosecurity elements will have a greater impact than others in the operation and it is important to prioritize the biosecurity risks that are identified and then establish an action plan to address them.

Step 6

Establish an action plan to mitigate the risk

Some of the risks will be easy to address and implement in a short period of time (e.g. establishing a location to change into farm-designated outer clothing or setting up a boot-wash station) while others may require six months or a year to complete (e.g. fencing or modifications to animal housing).

In general, short term activities (those that can be planned and implemented within 6 to 12 months):

Longer term activities (those that can be planned and implemented over more than a year):

Work with your veterinarian to establish the list of priorities and your staff to develop an action plan.

Are there specific changes in any of the 4 management areas that would improve biosecurity on your operation?
Biosecurity Section/Pillar Description of Biosecurity Gap Identified Suggested Corrective Actions
Animal movements
Movements of people, vehicles, equipment and tools
Animal health practices
Educating, planning and recording

What is the single most significant biosecurity challenge(s) to your operation?

Which diseases have you experienced on your operation within the last 3 years?

Can you and the appropriate staff identify these diseases?
Yes Box No Box

Do you have a plan(s) setting out the practices used to respond to these diseases?
Yes Box No Box
Describe the plan:

Are there biosecurity/herd health practices that could be implemented to reduce the re-occurrence of these diseases?
Yes Box No Box

Are there particular diseases that could have huge impacts despite low/lower probability (e.g. bovine tuberculosis, anthrax, foot and mouth disease)?
Yes Box No Box

Could you or your staff identify these diseases?
Yes Box No Box

Do you have a plan setting out your initial response after identifying them?
Yes Box No Box
Describe the plan:

Risk Mitigation

Additional information to help mitigate the risks identified in the questions above is provided in the following sections of the Implementation Manual. As you work your way through it, return to these pages to record your thoughts on possible actions, in the margin note sections on the right. Having this information recorded in one location will help you in determining the mitigation actions most appropriate to your operation.

Principle 1: Manage and minimize animal movement risks:

Animal movements are one of the most common means of spreading disease in the beef cattle industry. The most significant of these involve:

These movements significantly contribute to disease in the beef cattle industry. They are also an important element of most beef cattle operations, and certainly of the industry as a whole.

While it is impractical to suggest that these movements not occur, producers should be aware that:

1A. Manage Commingling

Commingling is a common practice familiar to most beef cattle producers that involves the mixing of cattle from one operation with those of another. Examples include: putting animals on crown range or in community pastures, shows, live auction sales, bull tests, feedlots, backgrounding and more.

Most producers are familiar with commingling and it is integral to many if not most operations. The information here is intended to educate and inform producers regarding the risks associated with commingling and, at the same time, to suggest to producers practices within their own operations that may reduce the impacts of these risks.

1A.1. Segregate and, when warranted, vaccinate, test and otherwise treat incoming animals

Why Is This Important?

Incoming cattle may be carrying and shedding disease, even if they appear clinically healthy, and especially if they've been exposed to cattle from other herds and/or they are stressed due to weaning, mixing, shipping, etc.

Suggested Risk Management Practices
a. Determine your risk tolerance

A first step is to clearly determine the degree of risk to the health of your resident herd that you are willing and able to accept and manage. The degree of risk will vary and will be determined by such things as:

Producers of registered purebred herds who derive their primary income from selling breeding stock will have a lower risk tolerance than a backgrounding or feedlot operation.

b. Identify and assess the risk

Identify the risks of disease exposure and transmission, and determine whether they affect the incoming animals and / or the resident herd.

Once these risks have been identified, determine which management strategies can be used to mitigate them: Can the risks be:

Some risks may be accepted and managed using practices such as segregation, combined with vaccination, testing and/or treatments. This has been a successful approach employed by feedlots.

These risks may also be avoided to a degree, for example with certain buying practices that limit the sources of incoming animals. This is part of a successful approach used by many cow-calf operations.

Some, perhaps many, operations will combine both risk avoidance and minimizing practices. In this situation, the operation might use buying practices as well as segregation, vaccination, testing and treatment practices. This integrated approach is successfully applied on cow-calf and purebred operations.

The appropriate approach for a specific operation will vary according to a range of factors, including the risks, the environment, the type of operation, etc. Producers should take the time to regularly evaluate these factors with their veterinarian, and identify the practices most appropriate to their operation.

For biosecurity purposes, disease risk management practices incorporate the concepts of avoidance, reduction and acceptance.

The appropriate practices will depend upon the costs and benefits for a specific operation.
c. Develop an "Incoming Animals Plan"

To be consistent and effective, develop an "Incoming Animals Plan" that incorporates segregation and vaccination, testing and treatment practices specific to your operation. Consult health records, personnel and your veterinarian for diseases of concern and appropriate vaccines, tests and treatments and their limitations. To see what an incoming animals plan might look like, See Schedule 3.

d. Review your buying practices

Use buying practices to limit the risk of introducing disease in incoming cattle. A "closed herd" with no introductions may be ideal, but is impractical for most operations.

Consider the class, source, timing and frequency of the purchases required. For example, there are significant risks that may result from buying untested bulls that have already been used for breeding, or buying foster calves or open cows.

e. Plan the arrival at the farm

Plan where incoming animals are unloaded, to minimize exposure to other cattle. Ideally, trucks should unload without entering the Production Area.

f. Segregate incoming animals

Segregate all incoming animals from the herd, on arrival, whether they are new or returning. This involves separation and regular monitoring for an extended period of time.

g. Vaccinate, test and treat as required

Vaccinate and/or test incoming animals early in the segregation period. This should take place after leaving the animals overnight to adjust to their location and before they are introduced to the herd. In some cases you may want this done before the animals are brought on farm, e.g. a condition of sale.

Treat incoming animals for internal and external parasites early in the segregation period. In some areas, such parasites play an important role in the spread of certain vector-borne diseases.

All health vaccines, tests and treatments should be recorded, ideally on an individual animal basis. This information, kept in the Health Log, can also be used to inform subsequent owners.

h. Additional considerations

Additional considerations regarding Incoming Animals:

An all in / all out strategy may work in some scenarios, e.g. smaller feedlots, bull test or backgrounding yards. In larger feedlots, it isn't practical to fill and empty the entire lot at once. However, a modified all in / all out strategy can be used by penning animals of a particular type and intake date together in the same alleyway or section of pens, and shipping them at the same time. In either case, animals should be left in their purchased groups as much as possible to avoid sorting across pens with different intake dates.

Biosecurity requirements for sick animals are similar to those for segregated animals. Separate facilities for segregation and for sick cattle are important, however, to prevent disease from being transferred to new cattle.

See Target Outcomes 1A.2, 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5 for additional related information.

1A.2. Obtain and share information about commingled animals with previous and future owners

Why Is This Important?

Sharing herd health information benefits producers (including buyers and sellers). Knowing the health history of commingled animals, including the herd that they are coming from, can:

It is also helpful to report back and let sellers know of health issues that may have originated under their care and what management changes they may need to make. Ultimately, this benefits the animals through improved health and welfare.

Finally, providing this information as a normal practice can impact buying decisions and protect buyer / seller relationships, which are important in any business.

Suggested Risk Management Practices
a. Identify and assess the risk

Reviewing the health information that is relevant to incoming cattle can help to identify possible disease risks. These might affect either the incoming animals or the herd they are joining.

b. Health information follows animals

Health information should accompany the movement of all animals that have been commingled. Ideally the information would accompany the movement of all new purchases, particularly breeding stock, although the emphasis is on commingled stock where the health risks are higher.

The information may be offered on all transfers or transactions. If it isn't offered in the course of the transaction, it should be requested.

Information of benefit to the buyer and animal health and welfare includes: vaccination status, diseases they have been exposed to (disease outbreaks on farm/community pasture), recent treatments for a herd and individual animal.

c. Shipping Records

Ideally this health-related information would be written down for the new owner. A Shipping Record can be useful in this regard, and an example is shown in Schedule 6. Some programs offer web-based tools to share health-related information that may also be helpful to the new owner.

d. Treat for known health risks

Commingled animals that are not accompanied by health information represent a common and difficult issue for producers to evaluate. Many commingling practices are common to the industry and unlikely to change. That said, there is an increased health risk that accompanies commingled animals, because they've been exposed to every health risk in the group. Producers can address that risk by treating them for the known health risks of the group in which they were commingled.

Using biosecurity practices in this way enables producers to effectively manage the health risks associated with the common business practice of receiving commingled cattle. The application of biosecurity practices on introduction to feedlots effectively manages the health risks of cattle that are sourced through commingled venues. This has played a significant role in the successful growth of the feedlot sector in the past 20 years. See Target Outcomes 1A.1, 1B.2 and 4.5 for additional related information.

1A.3. Minimize contact with animals of other species and from other operations to the extent possible

Why is this important?

Other animal species (particularly other non-bovine ruminants) may carry diseases that cause minimal to no clinical illness in them, yet significantly impact cattle. For example Bovine malignant catarrhal fever (BMCF) may reside in sheep or goats with minimal impact, yet cause significant health concerns if introduced to cattle.

Cattle in other operations are another risk, as they may have been exposed to a disease not present or managed in the herd. Contact in this case may introduce a disease that is not being managed and against which the herd is not protected. For example, BVD might be managed on one operation, but the disease may be introduced through contact to a herd where the disease is not present or being managed.

Contact with animals in both cases could expose the herd to diseases whose presence the producer is unaware of, whether from:

Suggested Risk Management Practices
a. Identify and assess the risk

Identify instances or locations where contact of cattle with animals of other species and/or operations is likely or unavoidable, and try to manage the resulting exposure.

Contact the owners of the operations where contact does occur to collaborate on common biosecurity practices, and identify where additional vaccination or other risk management strategies may be warranted.

Discuss the risks of animal contact with professionals, including your veterinarian, and develop risk mitigation strategies.

Maintain fences

Maintain fences in good repair to minimize contact with other operations. Fence-line contact is of considerably less risk than commingling in the same pasture, particularly if other species are involved.

b. Manage grazing and create buffer zones

Create a buffer zone between operations. This can be done using roadways, natural boundaries, including rivers, double fences, and even the use of more resistant animals. For example:

c. Manage shared pasture and range

If your cattle are pastured with cattle from other operations, there are a number of practices to consider:

d. Limit contact with other species

Avoid grazing of different species on the same or adjacent production areas. Producers running herds of two or more species should manage their herds to avoid contact between the species groups.

Where practical, control access to water, feed and minerals by animals of other species or operations.

e. Manage contact with wildlife

Where practical, limit contact with wildlife and pest populations, both of which can transmit certain diseases to and among cattle. While not always possible to accomplish, it is useful to know if contact with other species is occurring and how it occurs. Specific inter-species contacts to be aware of include:

Birds, for example in feedlots, are unlikely to be avoided or controlled to any great extent and, while their role is unknown, they might be a factor in the spread of some diseases.

f. Manage health of other animals and pets on-farm

Apply good biosecurity practices to animals of other species. Biosecurity standards are being developed for other farmed animal species and these provide good guidelines. Working dogs should have current vaccinations and be monitored for disease.

Ensure that pets are current with their vaccinations, monitored for disease and kept out of the Production Area.

g. Additional pointers

Apply strict biosecurity practices to animals and equipment taken offsite for show or rodeo purposes. These animals should be segregated from the herd for the season and monitored / managed to minimize disease transmission. Trailers and equipment used for this purpose can be cleaned out prior to use for other animals.

See Target Outcomes 1A.1, 1A.2, 2.3, 2.6 and 2.7 for additional discussion regarding wildlife and pests.

1B. Manage movements of high-risk and highly susceptible animals

Most beef cattle producers are aware of the increased disease risks associated with:

High-Risk Animals:

Highly Susceptible Animals

The information provided here may suggest practices that will help producers to manage these animals and their attendant risks.

1B.1. Manage and minimize movements of, and contacts with, high-risk and highly susceptible animals

Why Is This Important?

High-risk animals are more likely than others to shed disease while highly susceptible animals have a lowered immunity, making them more likely to acquire disease than others.

Activities which may stress cattle (animal transport, treatments etc.) have been demonstrated to further impair immune function and increase shedding of disease agents. Consequently, moving High-Risk and Highly susceptible Animals increases the opportunity for disease transmission.

Suggested Risk Management Practices
a. Identify and assess risks

Know the health status of your animals and of the animals being introduced to the herd. Specifically, producers should know which individuals or groups are at greater risk of carrying a disease, and which are most susceptible to acquiring a disease.

This should be taken into consideration on all new purchases, and other animals coming into contact with yours.

Additional information may be available from your veterinarian.

b. Avoid movements of these animals

Avoid moving animals of both groups.

Reduce their direct or indirect contact with other cattle, whether these are yours or someone else's, when you can.

c. Disclose known health concerns

Disclosure of known health concerns can be a component of the transaction process. Certainly "buyer beware" should remain a necessary element of every transaction, however known health concerns should be disclosed from seller to buyer, and sellers should avoid "passing them on" as this perpetuates and often amplifies a problem.

d. Treat promptly

Promptly treat cattle that are showing signs of disease to reduce the opportunity for exposure of susceptible animals.

e. Clean and disinfect

Clean and, where appropriate, disinfect equipment between age and production groups. This might include handling equipment and veterinary equipment.

f. Group and manage animals by risk

Sequence farm work and animal handling activities to avoid spreading disease: manage highly susceptible animals first and the high-risk animals last.

Keep age and production units separated where possible:

Place cattle on pasture with consideration for disease risks:

Consider grazing rotations based on production and age groups:

See also suggested practices for commingling animals. See Target Outcomes 1A.1, 1A.2 and 1A.3.

'Handle healthy or highly susceptible animals first, high-risk animals last.'

1B.2. Use or request clean trucks for movement of highly susceptible animals

Why Is This Important?

Manure and dirty bedding may be a source of disease. Removing this material from trucks and trailers before they are used to transport cattle and before these vehicles are brought onto other premises reduces the risk of spreading disease.

Suggested Risk Management Practices
a. Identify and assess risk

Ideally, clean trucks would be available for all livestock movements; however, this is currently an unrealistic proposition in the cattle industry. Using clean trucks is of greatest importance for transporting highly susceptible animals. These animals are at greatest risk of acquiring disease, which increases with the added stress of transportation, and may do so from the manure or dirty bedding present in trucks that have not been cleaned.

b. Request clean trucks

Clean trucks should be requested when producers book their loads.

For many reasons, it may be difficult to clean trucks or to obtain clean trucks, e.g. cold weather, few clean out facilities, backlog of orders during fall runs, etc.

c. Clean your own trucks

Producers should keep their own trucks clean. If your truck is used to haul cattle for other premises, then clean it before leaving your premises. Clean it again at the other premises before it returns, or use the clean-out pile noted below.

d. Provide "clean out" facilities

While it is preferable that trucks be clean on arrival, they can be cleaned out or scraped on arrival, weather permitting, on the premises. A clean-out pile for trucks should not be accessible to animals, and should be separate from the premises' stored manure. This material should not be spread or sold until properly composted or weathered.

e. Cleaning live haul trailers

Cleaning consists of five steps.

  1. Dry cleaning – To remove all visible manure and bedding (scraping, brushing, etc.). During winter, this may be limited to scraping out loose material, which may be easiest immediately after animals are off-loaded and before the bedding freezes.
  2. Wet Cleaning – If washing facilities are available, the trailers should then be cleaned from top to bottom using water at low to medium pressure.
  3. Drying – Ideally, surfaces should be allowed to dry prior to disinfecting.
  4. Disinfection – If disinfection facilities are available, disinfect the trailers following the wet cleaning. Use a broad-spectrum registered (Health Canada approved) disinfectant. Registered disinfectants will be identifiable by their Drug Identification Number on the label (DIN). Appropriate application is important – follow the manufacturer's directions. Note: There is little value in disinfecting surfaces if the dry and wet cleaning have not been completed. The mud, manure and bedding will prevent adequate disinfection by protecting surfaces and inactivating many disinfectants.
  5. Drying – Ideally, trailers should be allowed to dry prior to re-bedding.

Re-bed trailers with material that is commonly used in the area, e.g. shavings, straw, etc. Run-off from the washing site should not come in contact with cattle and/or environmentally sensitive areas.

Activities For Cleaning Trucks
  1. Dry Cleaning (may be limited to scraping)
  2. Wet CleaningFootnote 1
  3. Drying
  4. DisinfectingFootnote 1
  5. Drying
  6. Re-bed
Additional Points

Principle 2: Manage the Movement of People, Vehicles, Equipment, and Tools

Movements by people, vehicles, equipment and tools that have been in contact with manure, urine, blood, saliva, etc. from diseased animals (livestock and deadstock) can transmit disease when moving on, off and within a farm.

2.1. Apply sanitation practices that are relevant to personnel, visitors, vehicles, equipment and tools on entry to, within, and on exit from production areas

Why Is This Important?

People, vehicles, equipment and tools can all carry disease on, off or throughout a beef cattle operation. While some of these movements can be avoided or prevented, many are essential to the operation. Sanitation practices are necessary to reduce the opportunity for these movements to transmit disease.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

Some movements are clearly more likely to carry disease than others. To ensure that sanitation practices are relevant and can be seen to be of value in controlling disease, the practices suggested here involve a risk-based approach based on both the risk of the incoming items and the susceptibility of the areas being visited, e.g. the Production Area versus the Farmyard.

Practices appropriate to a specific operation will vary due to the type of operation, farm layout and traffic flows.

All producers should apply some general practices on an ongoing basis.

a. Identify and assess risk

Evaluate the risk of all visitors by asking about livestock / farm contact within the past 14 days (including their accompanying vehicles, equipment and tools).

See Entry Requirements in Schedule 13 for additional information.

b. Persons from other countries

To evaluate the risk of persons from other countries, it is advisable to discuss specific details with your veterinarian, or the office of your Chief Provincial Veterinarian / Chief Provincial Veterinary Officer (see Schedule 7).

Remember to include staff or other personnel, including you, who are returning from another country.

Some issues to consider are contacts while outside Canada including:

c. Before arrival at your farm

Before arrival, communicate biosecurity practices to all visitors and ensure that they:

d. On arrival

On arrival, require that visitors:

e. On departure

On departure, ensure that:

f. Additional general pointers

The following points should be considered and followed where possible:

2.2. Minimize the use of the same equipment for both "clean" and "dirty" tasks

Why Is This Important?

Deadstock, including bodily fluids or secretions, manure and garbage, often carry disease. For this reason they are sometimes referred to as dirty and their related tasks as dirty tasks. Surfaces that come into contact with these items may have been exposed to disease and are considered dirty as well.

In contrast, feed, water and bedding that is either consumed by or in direct contact with cattle should be clean or free of disease. They are sometimes referred to as clean items, and their related tasks as clean tasks. Surfaces coming into contact with these items should be kept clean and free of disease.

Using dirty equipment for clean tasks, or for direct contact with livestock or humans, may expose cattle to disease and should be avoided. Events of this sort provide a chain of infection that can be a significant factor in the spread of most diseases, and have been identified as the initial cause of many major outbreaks.

The spread of FMD during the 2001 outbreak in the UK was significantly amplified by the use of dirty items for clean tasks. Dirty equipment and other items with FMD-contaminated surfaces coming into contact with clean equipment and/or animals was cited in several instances.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

Ideally specific pieces of equipment should be dedicated for dirty tasks only, such as handling deadstock, manure and garbage. They should never be used for clean tasks.

a. Identify and assess the risk

In many beef cattle operations equipment must be used for both clean and dirty tasks. Identify where these practices occur.

b. Break the chain of infection

Break the chain of infection that can occur in the situations where equipment is being used for both clean and dirty tasks, by using some of the following alternatives:

If wheels or other parts of machinery become dirty through direct contact with manure, they represent a risk. Clearly, this risk is greater when it is manure from the sick or segregation facilities. Producers should be aware of and manage this risk, by cleaning these items before entering feed or bedding areas.

Break the chain of infection: don't use dirty equipment for clean tasks!

2.3. Ensure production area perimeters are sufficient to contain livestock, with access points that can be closed to prevent access by people, other than deliberate non-compliance

Why Is This Important?

Keeping the operation's livestock separate and distinct from others and avoiding commingling with animals from neighbouring operations are important means of controlling disease.

Fences or other perimeters that keep the operation's livestock that are being managed differently separate and distinct and prevent commingling with animals from other operations helps to control disease. Animals from neighbouring operations may not be managed similarly and present a disease risk through:

Fences may also provide some control over contact with wildlife. Access points that can be closed may also limit access by personnel.

Fence-line perimeters or natural boundaries also mark the Production Area where your animals are or may be, and where you will want to focus your biosecurity practices. Access points through these fences signify the point at which enhanced or different biosecurity practices may be implemented if required.

Given the extensive nature of many operations in the Canadian beef cattle industry, it is difficult to control and prevent all unwanted access. However perimeters comprised of fences or natural barriers and access points that can be closed, together with signs (see 2.4), can help to prevent access by all but intentional acts of non-compliance.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Identify and assess risk

Producers should use their farm layout diagram, to locate Production Areas and the Farmyard, together with the perimeters of each of these and access points.

b. Limit access points

Access points into and out of the Farmyard and Production Areas should be limited. This is helpful in controlling the flow of traffic. These are also the points at which biosecurity practices may be increased to address different risks as suggested in 2.1

c. Control access points with lockable gates

Access points to Production Areas and Farmyards should be capable of being closed and locked. This may be required for a number of reasons, including the possibility of a Reportable or Foreign Animal Disease, when access is being restricted.

Consider locking access points if they cannot be easily monitored. This is particularly important if these points provide access to cattle, feed, water or pesticides.

d. Maintain perimeter fences

Fences should be used to contain livestock at the perimeter of Production Areas, the areas where cattle are or may be. Fences should also be considered to mark the perimeter of Farmyards. Natural boundaries are an alternative.

Fences and other perimeter markings should be used to indicate the location of segregation and sick pens, or other locations where biosecurity practices need to be enhanced.

Fences should be maintained to assist in keeping cattle separate from other groups.

2.4. Post biosecurity signs at access points to production area and farmyard

Why Is This Important?

Signs can inform people of the biosecurity practised on your operation and in the Canadian beef cattle industry. If people are informed of the practices that are important to your operation, and why you do them, then they are more likely to cooperate and assist in maintaining the level of biosecurity you are trying to achieve.

Biosecurity signs can be used for a number of purposes that support biosecurity on your operation. For example, they can:

Most importantly, signs communicate what you want people to do and why you want them to do so. Unless they know this information, there is no reason to expect them to assist you.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Identify and assess risk

Producers should consider their farm layout diagram to determine all locations where signs should be posted. Additional signs may be effective at access points: from the farmyard to the production area, to feed yards; to segregation and/or sick facilities.

b. Consider the signs required

Signs should clearly indicate what you want people to do, and ideally why you want them to do so.

Signs should also reflect the different levels of biosecurity that may exist throughout your operation. For instance, biosecurity practices for the Production Area, where animals are or may be, are usually higher than in the Farmyard and the signs should reflect this.

Producers may obtain signs from their provincial governments or commodity associations (see Schedule 7).

c. Post signs

Signs should be posted so that they are visible to those entering through controlled access points to:

Producers may also want to post signs periodically along perimeter fencing that surrounds both the Production Area and the Farmyard, where they are visible to potential visitors.

2.5. Manage and dispose of deadstock and manure to minimize contact with live animals

Why Is This Important?

Cattle that die from disease may shed the disease in their bodily fluids (blood, lymph, etc.), secretions (respiratory etc.) and excretions (manure, and urine etc.). Therefore contact with deadstock, body fluids and secretions, or manure, may spread the disease back to live cattle. (Note: Throughout the remainder of Section 2.5, the term deadstock will include organic materials contaminated by body fluids and secretions.) As well, both deadstock and manure may be scavenged or fed upon by pests and wildlife, spreading the disease to a broader region and additional cattle.

Proper management and disposal of both deadstock and manure can help to control the spread of disease.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Know your federal and provincial regulations

Producers should confirm that their deadstock and manure management practices comply with federal and provincial requirements, many of which have been made more restrictive in recent years (see websites for the Office of Chief Provincial Veterinarian / Chief Provincial Veterinary Officer).

Federal and provincial regulations regarding deadstock and manure address a range of issues that may differ from animal health and biosecurity. Accordingly, while compliance with regulations is advocated, additional practices are also suggested.

b. Avoid contact with live animals

To help avoid the direct or indirect spread of disease back to live animals, producers should consider the following practices to manage the disposal of deadstock and manure:

Equipment used for deadstock and/or manure should be designated for this use only, or cleaned and disinfected prior to other uses. See 2.2 for additional information.

Producers should clean equipment, clothing, boots and hands after contact with deadstock or manure, and before engaging in other tasks or leaving the operation.

c. Find a suitable location

Storage locations for deadstock and/or manure should be located adjacent but outside the Production Area, where they cannot be contacted by live animals. Separation of 100 m or more from storage to live animals is required in some provinces. The distance from watercourses, wells and other sensitive areas is also regulated federally and provincially and must be respected.

Producers should consider their farm layout diagrams to identify a location that minimizes the risk of contact. Where possible, construct storage locations so they can be accessed from within the Production Area and from outside.

d. Document your practices

Producers should document their practices to promote a consistent approach or approaches to managing deadstock and manure.

A sample "Deadstock Disposal Plan" and "Manure Management Plan" are provided in Schedules 8 and 9. These should form a part of the operation's Biosecurity Plan.

Specific Deadstock Management practices:

a. Identify and assess risk

Deadstock disposal is regulated in most provinces and producers should confirm that their removal and disposal requirements comply with federal and provincial requirements (see Schedule 8).

b. Timeframes for Removal and Disposal

Deadstock should be removed promptly to prevent contact with other animals. This also applies to aborted foetuses and placentas – they should be managed as deadstock and not included with manure.

Deadstock should be disposed of as soon as possible. A target of 12-24 hours is desirable, and up to 48 hours is generally acceptable.

c. Disposal methods

Some provinces permit deadstock to be stored for longer periods under certain conditions, or if directed to do so by an inspector appointed under federal or provincial health authority.

Producers should verify which of the following disposal methods are permitted in their province, and the requirements for each:

Deadstock should always be disposed of, or stored, in a manner that minimizes or prevents contact with live animals.

Natural Disposal is not permitted in some provinces.

Producers should confirm that their disposal methods comply with regulated requirements.

d. Specified Risk Material

Producers should also be aware of the regulations for handling Specified Risk Material (SRM) for the off-farm movement of deadstock. Specified Risk Material (those tissues identified as being capable of transmitting BSE, including carcasses containing those materials) are regulated for movement off farm by a permitting process through the CFIA.

e. Additional pointers

Producers should consider obtaining a necropsy by a veterinarian on all deadstock. This may help to diagnose the presence of a disease or health issue, and to manage and minimize its spread.

Note: Animals euthanized by a veterinarian must be properly disposed of: incineration or burial is required in some provinces.

Specific Manure Management practices:

a. Identify and assess risk

Manure management is regulated in most provinces. Producers should confirm that their practices are in accordance with federal and provincial regulations regarding environmental farm plans, manure management plans, etc. (see Schedule 9).

b. Manure removal

Producers should remove all manure regularly from:

c. Additional pointers

Additional practices, which may not be permitted in some provinces, include:

Remove manure annually, generally in the spring, or after each turn or group of animals.

Store accumulated manure outside the Production Area, and prevent or minimize contact by live animals.

Contain run-off from manure storage areas, to prevent it from reaching water sources or ground water.

Manage the potential disease risk that may be present by composting; and/or weathering (drying and exposure to sunlight through spreading).

Manure should be spread early in the year for maximum drying and sunlight, on cropland rather than pasture, broken up after spreading, and left for a full growing season prior to being grazed.

Clean-out manure from off-farm trucks should be stored and maintained separately from on-farm manure. This should not be spread or sold until fully composted or weathered and decomposed.

Always check to ensure that your manure management practices comply with federal and provincial regulations.

Note: provincial regulations may address issues other than animal health.

2.6. Minimize pests to reduce exposure to livestock to the extent practical

Why Is This Important?

Pests may transmit a number of diseases to cattle through direct or indirect exposure including infected blood and other secretions by biting insects, through respiratory secretions and fecal contamination of infected pests, and external contamination of pests on feet/fur/feathers etc.

Some of these diseases can cause significant illness in cattle and the herd, and impact the industry regionally or nationally. Examples include Anaplasmosis, which is spread by ticks, and Bluetongue, which is spread by a midge or fly.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

Given the extensive nature of most beef operations, it can be difficult to prevent pests. However some of the following practices may help to control pest populations and in turn manage the risk of disease that they present.

a. Identify and assess risk

Where pests exist, producers should consult their veterinarian to determine if there are disease risks and how these might be managed.

Personnel should be aware of the disease risks that may arise from pest populations in their region, and monitor the herd for signs of disease.

b. Insect population control

Remove breeding areas for insects, where appropriate, e.g. standing water, decaying manure/bedding/feed, from the vicinity of feed storage areas, bunks and fences, and vegetation or weeds particularly from the vicinity of handling facilities.

Apply chemical controls for internal and external parasites, such as ear tags, sprays, pour-ons and oilers.

c. Rodent and bird population control
d. Pest population control

2.7. Manage livestock to reduce exposure to wildlife to the extent practical

Why Is This Important?

Wildlife may harbour disease that can be spread to cattle through direct and/or indirect exposure. While the disease may be apparent in wildlife, they may also be latent carriers of disease that may affect cattle.

Some of these diseases may cause significant illness in cattle and the herd, and seriously impact the industry as a whole. For example, bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis reside in wildlife and may be spread to cattle through shared winter-feeding or other events. Other diseases carried by wildlife that may be spread to cattle include rabies and neospora.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Identify and assess the risk

Preventing exposure to wildlife is not always possible, particularly in pastures. Where this is the case, producers should be aware of the disease risk that these populations present, and take appropriate steps to minimize it.

Consult your veterinarian or provincial Office of the Chief Veterinarian / Chief Veterinary Officer to determine the specific disease risks that may exist in wildlife in your particular area. Such diseases could include: bTB and/or Brucellosis in deer or elk, rabies in skunks, coyotes or wolves, and Neospora in dogs, coyotes or wolves. They may also have advice on effective biosecurity practices to address these risks, e.g. vaccines, etc.

b. Minimize the risk

Steps that may minimize the disease risk posed by wildlife include:

2.8. Ensure facilities are maintained and clean

Why Is This Important?

The condition of facilities may reduce or restrict the application of biosecurity practices to effectively address disease risks. If their condition affects the ability to apply biosecurity practices, then facilities should be repaired to facilitate biosecurity or managed to mitigate the biosecurity risks.

Facilities that are not clean may also contribute to the spread of disease. Many pathogens can survive for weeks to months, protected from inactivation through desiccation, sunlight, and inadequate cleaning procedures by organic material (bedding, manure etc.). For example, a persistent transfer may arise from facilities that are repeatedly used to house or process cattle some of which are diseased.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Identify and assess risk

Specific areas to be kept clean to avoid contamination and opportunities for cross infection include areas where cattle congregate (particularly highly susceptible animals) and areas where supplies / inputs are stored: calving areas; pens and corrals; feeding areas; feed storage area; water sources and waterers; veterinary product storage area; storage areas for veterinary waste and used products; garbage storage areas.

b. Maintain facilities

Facilities should be clean and free of visible organic matter. Focus on production areas where above-normal rates of illness have occurred, calving areas, and locations frequently accessed by staff or livestock.

Facilities should be maintained, in good working order. This helps good husbandry, and also helps to minimize animal stress.

c. Remove garbage and other waste

Garbage and other waste should be removed and disposed of on a regular basis in accordance with local requirements.

d. Storage and disposal of sharps

Veterinary waste involving sharps and other receptacles should be stored in a container separate from garbage and closed to the environment and animals. It can be removed and disposed of at specific locations within each province, including your veterinary clinic (if previous arrangements have been made with them).

See also Target Outcomes 2.5, 2.6, and 3.3.

Principle 3: Manage Animal Health Practices

Diagram - Elements of an Animal Health System. Description follows.
Description of the Animal Health System

The Elements of an Animal Health System are depicted in this diagram by blue boxes running vertically. Starting at the top, these include:

  • Research
  • Animal Care
  • Disease Management
  • Surveillance
  • Laboratory Network
  • Biosecurity (this is represented by an orange box)
  • Identification and Traceability
  • Regulated Products

Biosecurity and animal health are closely related, although the latter covers a broad range of factors affecting health, of which biosecurity is one. Other elements of an animal health system include such functions as surveillance, disease management or control, animal care, etc.

Good practices in any and all of these functional areas of animal health contribute to healthy animals and help to reduce disease and its impacts in cattle.

3.1 Establish and maintain a working relationship with a veterinarian

Why Is This Important?

Veterinarians are professionals who are trained to provide expertise in disease management and animal health. Veterinarians can provide a producer with specific advice if there is a relationship that provides a familiarity and understanding of the producer, the premises and the herd. With this relationship in place, veterinarians are better able to:

A valid veterinary client-patient relationship is necessary before veterinarians may prescribe treatments, vaccines and other medical advice for a producer. Additional information on this can be obtained from your veterinarian or provincial veterinary association.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

Producers should regularly consult their veterinarian, (e.g. annually) to review biosecurity and herd health management practices. The veterinarian can provide advice on a range of animal health management issues, including:

3.2. Manage herd health according to a documented Herd Health Plan (HHP), prepared in consultation with a veterinarian

Why Is This Important?

A comprehensive herd health plan will contribute to the health of your cattle by helping to ensure that all aspects of their health needs are met. Since healthy animals are more resistant to disease, such a plan benefits the cattle and producers.

Documenting the practices being followed in a written Herd Health Plan, helps to ensure that it is:

A Herd Health Plan addresses a broad range of factors occurring on the operation, including but not limited to: reproduction, genetics, nutrition, welfare, and biosecurity. Each of these contributes to animal health. For example and without addressing each factor, reproduction factors such as length of calving season, weaning weights and calving patterns impact the health of calves, cows and the herd as a whole.

Your veterinarian can help to make your Herd Health Plan more effective by identifying gaps and ensuring that all issues are addressed.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Prepare a Herd Health Plan (HHP)

Prepare a written Herd Health Plan that documents the breadth of practices utilized on your operation to ensure herd health.

Information from your Health Log, all personnel engaged in herd health, and your veterinarian can all contribute to an effective Plan.

b. Review and revise

Review and revise the Herd Health Plan annually, or more frequently in the event of disease concerns, again with input from your veterinarian.

c. Keep records

Keep ongoing records to better manage herd health, specifically record vaccinations and treatments (health log, 4.5) and movements (movement log, 4.5). Records of parentage, reproductive history and source of animals are also useful. This information can be used to identify health risks, factors contributing to their occurrence and management options.

Maintain records on an individual animal basis. While many actions – movements, vaccinations and, in some cases, treatments -- will involve classes or groups of cattle, it is helpful if they can be linked to the individual animal and, ideally, to its unique CCIP identifier.

Considerable effort is required to record and maintain records on an individual animal basis. However the resulting information will help to identify and manage animal and herd health problems more quickly and accurately, reducing the length and severity of a disease process and unnecessary treatments, which, in turn, may reduce costs and increase profitability.

d. Compare results

Routinely measure and compare individual health records to overall herd health and productivity records, e.g.:

Comparisons over time or between different groups contribute to an effective and profitable operation.

See also Target Outcomes 4.5.

3.3. Obtain water, feed, medications, and other inputs from safe and reliable sources, and manage or store these resources to ensure their ongoing safety and efficacy

Why Is This Important?

Water, feed, other inputs such as bedding, and even medications, may be contaminated and/or their quality and efficacy compromised at any point from their source to their consumption or use. Cattle that consume or use these contaminated, poor quality and/or ineffective inputs may be exposed to or at greater risk of disease.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Identify and assess risk

Inputs to the herd that impact health include: water, feed, medications, supplements, nutrients, minerals, bedding and other inputs.

Be aware that quality inputs and diet contribute to a healthy herd. Where these inputs are purchased, and how they are handled, managed and stored may impact health.

b. Water quality

Monitor water systems regularly to provide water that is free of contamination from humans, livestock or wildlife. Contamination may involve manure, deadstock, chemicals and run-off after heavy precipitation or flooding.

Some specific practices to maintain the quality of the water provided include:

c. Feed quality

Obtain off farm feed, including grains, roughages, and bedding, from safe, known and reliable sources.

When purchasing mixed feeds, i.e. two or more grains, ensure that they are provided by a CFIA inspected facility. Mixed feeds can only be sold by a CFIA inspected facility.

To confirm that a provider is inspected by CFIA, they can be asked. However, there is no visible inspection certificate available from CFIA for them to display. Alternately, providers who are FeedAssure certified must also be CFIA inspected. FeedAssure is a feed safety management and certification program provided by the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada.

Maintain a Feed Log, to record purchases and use of feed. Ready access to this information can help to identify and manage certain disease situations.

d. Storing inputs

Store and maintain feed and bedding free of contamination. Contamination may result from manure, run-off, mould and general quality factors. Feed and bedding can also be contaminated by saliva, urine, and respiratory secretions of infected animals and other wildlife. Practices that can help in this area include:

e. Feeding practices

Good animal health is supported by good feeding practices, some of which include:

f. Medications

Medications are used with the specific intent of improving animal health. Accordingly they should be stored and applied in a manner that ensures they can be effective.

Principle 4: Educate, Plan, Record

Education, planning and recording are fundamental to any management process. Accordingly, they are fundamental to biosecurity, which is essentially the management of animal disease risks.

4.1. Ensure that personnel understand how and why biosecurity is applied on their operation

Why Is This Important?

To be effective, biosecurity needs to be applied consistently. Consistent application cannot occur unless personnel are aware of what practices are to be applied and how.

An understanding of why biosecurity is being applied is also essential to ensure consistent and effective application. This can include farm level reasons, as well as those affecting the broader industry as a whole.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Review Biosecurity Plan

Review the Biosecurity Plan for the operation with all personnel involved with livestock. Preparation of a Biosecurity Plan is detailed in the next section.

New personnel should be made familiar with the Plan prior to working with livestock. Personnel who do not work with livestock should be aware of the Plan and its purpose.

Ensure personnel understand what practices they are responsible for in the Biosecurity Plan, how to effectively carry out those practices, what records they must maintain and why these are important to the operation and to the industry. Depending upon the level of sophistication and size/type of operation, personnel may be asked to provide written confirmation of this.

Personnel (definition): Includes staff, owners and operators and their family members.

b. Train personnel

The availability of formal training material for Biosecurity is limited, although this is expected to change in the future. However, material promoting the awareness of biosecurity is now increasingly available from a number of sources and can be helpful in educating personnel, e.g. the operation's Biosecurity Plan, provincial government animal health services, national and provincial commodity group associations, the CFIA, etc. (see Schedule 7).

Review and update the biosecurity plan on a regular basis including when there have been changes to farm practices and when new personnel have been hired.

See also Target Outcome 4.2.

Biosecurity efforts are only successful if everyone accessing animals is aware of the practices and know their role.

4.2. Develop, document, and maintain a Biosecurity Plan that is specific to the needs of the operation

Why Is This Important?

Biosecurity calls for the application of practices that minimize animal disease risks on premises. Many of these practices are already in effect to some degree on most beef cattle operations. Additional practices may be identified in the course of reviewing this Manual to improve current on-farm biosecurity.

Documenting biosecurity practices in a Biosecurity Plan that is specific to a particular operation can provide the producer with a better understanding of what the risks are and how they are presently managed within that operation. A written Plan helps to ensure that the information it summarizes is:

Suggested Risk Management Practices

A Biosecurity Plan should address and document the practices that are in place or being implemented within the operation. These should include the following, samples of which are provided in the Schedules to this Manual:

Preparation of these documents would constitute the Biosecurity Plan for the operation.

Involve personnel associated with livestock and with record keeping in preparing the Biosecurity Plan for your operation. These individuals can increase the effectiveness of the Plan and its application within your operation.

Use the Biosecurity Plan for your operation as a tool to train new and current personnel. This will help to ensure the consistent application of biosecurity practices by all staff. It will also help to keep the Plan current, as gaps or improvements are identified and addressed. See Target Outcomes 1A.1, 2.5, 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5.

4.3. Ensure that personnel know how to respond to the range of animal health situations typical to the operation

Why Is This Important?

Some disease situations in beef cattle operations are encountered frequently and can re-occur regularly. Anticipating what disease situations are typical to the operation, and planning an effective response to their occurrence, can ensure:

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Identify and assess risk

Identify the disease situations that are commonly encountered on your operation and on operations in the surrounding community.

b. Plan the response

For each of these, identify the practices used in response. Consult your veterinarian to identify possible gaps and additional information.

For each situation identify the following:

c. Know the signs

Ensure that personnel associated with cattle know the specific signs of diseases or situations that are common to the operation. These should be included in your Plan.

Some of the more general signs indicating a health related problem are noted below.

d. Document your practices

Document the practices regularly used for these situations in a Typical Disease Situation Plan.

e. Additional pointers

Practices that should also be used in these situations include:

Ensure that personnel associated with cattle know the general signs of poor health noted below:

  • Depression or lethargy, e.g. droopy ears or head, decreased activity, lying down and won't rise
  • Laboured or abnormal breathing
  • Loss of appetite, weight, and/or condition
  • Not drinking or excessive drinking
  • Lameness, e.g. swollen or favoured foot or leg, fracture, etc.
  • Diarrhoea
  • Erratic behaviour, e.g. circling, head pressing, abnormal posture

4.4. Ensure that personnel know how to respond to an unusual animal health situation

Why Is This Important?

Recognizing the presence of an unusual illness in the herd and knowing how to respond can limit its impact upon the cattle that are immediately affected, the rest of the herd, possibly neighbouring herds and, in some cases, the industry as a whole.

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Identify and assess risk

Identify the potential disease situations of concern, and the practices to be used to identify and respond. These would include both specific diseases, as well as an unusual disease situation that might not be easily or immediately recognized.

Consult your veterinarian for input on the potential situations to be most aware of for your particular operation, and the practices to identify and implement.

These practices should address:

b. Define the triggers

Pre-determined triggers should be established in advance to identify when an unusual situation is occurring. Document these in the Trigger Levels section of the Unusual Disease Situation Plan for your premises. They might include:

c. Establish Initial Response practices

Establish Initial Response practices and document them in the Initial Response part of your Unusual Disease Situation Plan. These practices should include:

d. Establish Elevated Biosecurity practices.

Establish Elevated Biosecurity practices in advance and document them in the Elevated Biosecurity section of your Unusual Disease Situation Plan. These should be used if you determine that the situation warrants it, or if advised to do so by your veterinarian. They are intended for temporary use only, pending further instruction from your veterinarian, or a provincial or CFIA inspector or veterinarian.

Elevated Biosecurity practices could include:

Establish the conditions under which you would return to normal practices. These might be on advice from your veterinarian, or a provincial or CFIA veterinary inspector.

e. Document

Document the Initial Response and Elevated Biosecurity practices to be used on your operation for the Unusual Disease Situation Plan.

All personnel involved should be aware of these practices and their responsibilities.

See Schedule 11 for a sample of what the Unusual Disease Situation Plan might look like, including Immediate Response and Elevated Biosecurity practices.

4.5. Maintain ongoing records for animal health management

Why Is This Important?

Information recorded at the time of an event is generally more accurate than information recalled from memory months or years after the event. Accurate information, from records such as these and elsewhere, can help to identify:

Suggested Risk Management Practices

a. Maintain records

The following records should be maintained on a consistent and ongoing basis:

b. Keep a Visitor Log

A Visitor Log should be used to record the entry of all visitors at the initial point of entry to the operation, regardless of whether this is to the Production Area or the Farmyard. A sample Visitor Log is shown in Schedule 12.

c. Maintain a Movement Log

A Movement Log should be used to record cattle movements into, from or between Production Areas. A sample Movement Log is shown in Schedule 13.

Visitor & Movement Logs are critical to tracking movements in the event of a disease outbreak, and can identify potentially exposed herds sooner. This can help reduce the impacts of a highly infectious disease.

d. Use a Health Log

A Health Log should be used to record all health treatments and disease prevention measures. A sample Health Log is shown in Schedule 14.

e. Keep a Feed Log

A Feed Log should be used to record all off-farm feed movements. A sample Feed Log is shown in Schedule 15.

Acknowledgements – Biosecurity Advisory Committees

Development of the Standard benefited from comments and direction provided by members of these Advisory and Management Groups:

Beef Biosecurity Advisory Group:

Beef Technical Advisory Group:

Project Management Team:

Other contributors from the CFIA's Office of Animal Biosecurity:

In addition to those contributors, the development of the Standard has benefited from numerous interviews with producers, subject matter experts and stakeholder group representatives.

Their interest, participation, and contribution are greatly appreciated.

Schedule 1: List of Acronyms

Schedule 2: Glossary

Land and Operations

Farmyard, Home Quarter or Headquarters
The operation's home farm, ranch or land parcel.Footnote 2
Business entity: typically comprised of one or more parcels of land.
Production Area (PA) or Stock-Keeping Area
The operation's corrals, pens, barns, and pastures where livestock are or may be kept.Footnote 3


Grain-based animal feed
Grass/legume-based animal feed


Farm machinery and implements, livestock conveyances, excluding vehicles for personal and business transportation
Intended for personal and business transportation (not livestock transportation)


Commingled Animals
Animals having contact with animals of other species, or from other operations
The active process (piled, windrowed, turned, (etc.) of controlled biological decomposition of bedding/manure/waste to eliminate disease and produce a mature soil amendment Provision of compost for retail packaging and sales typically meets this definition. Piled or stored manure does not.
High-risk Animals
Animals with an unknown or greater risk of transmitting a disease than others, including those of unknown health status, of a different species, not part of the herd, returning after being away from the herd, or sick or recently recovered
Highly Susceptible Animals
Animals that are at greater risk of infection following disease exposure than others, including calves, young stock, sick, stressed, or recently recovered, or lacking immunity or resistance
Incoming Animals
Animals that have been purchased/acquired for introduction into the resident herd or animals returning from a brief absence from the herd (exhibition, show, etc.)
Includes staff, owners and operators and their family members
Includes vermin, such as mice, rats, etc., insects, and birds
Includes all people entering the Farmyard (home quarter or headquarters) or Production Area with permission, e.g. service providers and professionals, school tours, international visitors, etc.; excludes personnel
Includes game and non-game animals such as deer, elk, etc., fur-bearing animals such as skunk, beaver, etc., predators such as coyotes, wolves, etc., and birds

Biosecurity Terminology

Those practices that prevent or mitigate disease from entering, spreading within or being released from operations that may contain livestock
Biosecurity Zones
An area where biosecurity procedures are practiced/monitored to reduce the transmission of disease, e.g. Controlled Zone and/or Restricted Access Zone
A practice that removes accumulated organic matter and dirt. May be followed by disinfection
Controlled Access
Access is managed by way of clear entry/exit points in a visually identifiable perimeter demarcation. Might include gates, Texas gates or driveways in fences or other visually identifiable perimeter demarcations.
Controlled Access Zones (CAZ)
An area where access is controlled or managed, constituting the home quarter or headquarters, accessible through a controlled access point
Comparable context to the Home Quarter or Headquarters of a beef cattle operation
Direct Contact
Close physical contact between animals (nose-to-nose, social interaction, breeding, (etc.)
A broadly applied term encompassing the introduction, transmission, spread and / or existence of a range of pests, pathogens and other disease-causing agents, including toxins. The emphasis of this Standard is disease.
A practice that inactivates or destroys disease organisms; must be preceded by cleaning
Any inanimate object or substance on which disease may be carried or transferred. May include but is not limited to: vehicles, equipment, tools (veterinary and other), clothing or shoes, etc.
Indirect Contact
Common contact between animals through a person, piece of equipment, surface, insect, etc.
Generally practiced procedure that is followed by the operator(s), and not necessarily documented or detailed to the extent of a protocol
Defined and documented procedure to be followed, detailing the steps to be taken to meet an objective
Restricted Access Zones (RAZ)

Area or physical location where livestock are or may be held and where additional procedures to reduce disease transmission are applied, including further restrictions on the movements of people and equipment

Typically accessed through a controlled access point, from the Controlled Access Zone (CAZ) and contained within the CAZ

Comparable in context to the Production Area of a beef cattle operation, although access often cannot be controlled and location is often outside the Home Quarter and Headquarters

An overarching set of practices that reduce the presence of organic material/debris and reduce the presence, survivability and infectivity of disease agents
Secured Access
Access through controlled access points is prevented, other than from deliberate non-compliance. This might include gates or doors in fences or buildings, etc. in visually identifiable perimeter demarcations capable of restricting livestock movements and human movements other than deliberate non-compliance.
These are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. They may be endemic or reportable, and include bTB, Brucellosis, Rabies, and Ringworm, all of which occur in cattle.

Schedule 3: Incoming Animals Plan (Sample)

Operation Name: space

Box Incoming Animals are:

Box Introduced from a limited number of sources per year: space different sources

Box Risk exposure is evaluated to determine whether normal segregation and vaccination / test / treatment protocol is sufficient:

Box Observed on arrival for obvious signs of illness / lameness

Box Segregated on arrival: 14 days, twice daily monitoring

Box VaccinatedFootnote 4: Yes / No

Diseases Vaccinated Against Name and Manufacturer of Vaccine Administered

BoxCheck TestedFootnote 4: Yes / No, for:

Diseases tested For Herd / animal test results

Box TreatedFootnote 4: Yes / No

Procedure Medication
Worming (Internal Parasites)
External Parasites
Other Treatments
Procedure Method Used

Box Identification Verified: Yes / No

Box Individually identified: Yes / No

Box Monitoring:

Box Release into herd

Schedule 4: Safe Administration and Delivery of Veterinary Drugs and Vaccines

Veterinary drugs and vaccines are currently regulated by two different agencies in Canada. Veterinary drugs are regulated by Health Canada's Veterinary Drug Directorate, while veterinary biologics (vaccines) are controlled by the CFIA's Canadian Centre of Veterinary Biologics.

Veterinary drugs approved for use in Canada will have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and only these products should be used.

Veterinary drugs and vaccines should be used as directed by a veterinarian and stored in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that they are effective.

There are a number of different delivery methods for drugs, depending upon the medication, the formulation, the disease and the species and number of animal(s) in question. These include:

Do not administer drugs by routes other than those recommended by the manufacturer or your veterinarian, as there can be severe adverse reactions.

Veterinary vaccines for beef cattle are administered by an intramuscular or subcutaneous route.

Appropriate needle use is also important. Individual needles should be used when treating animals for health concerns. Re-use of needles is a concern for a number of reasons, including disease transfer, needle breakage and resulting food safety concerns.

Schedule 5: Cleaning / Washing / Disinfection

Different terms are used in the Manual to define an object's level of sanitation:

The Cleaning process consists of 5 Steps

  1. Dry cleaning – The most important step of the cleaning process to remove all visible manure, bedding and other organic material by scraping, brushing, and wiping down surfaces, etc. During winter, this may be limited to scraping up loose material before it freezes. A thorough dry cleaning simplifies and facilitates the wet cleaning process and is necessary prior to the disinfection process.
  2. Wet Cleaning – Using water and a detergent, soak surfaces thoroughly. Soak the dirtiest surfaces first, however, move from clean to dirty when spraying and scrubbing to prevent unnecessary contamination of the cleaner areas. Rinse the surfaces with water to remove traces of detergent and organic material.
  3. Drying – Allowing the surfaces to dry aides in reducing the survivability of pathogens and ensures that the disinfectant applied during the disinfection step remains at the proper concentration.
  4. Disinfection – Disinfect surfaces. Use a broad-spectrum registered (Health Canada approved) disinfectant. Registered disinfectants will be identifiable by their Drug Identification Number on the label (DIN). Appropriate application is important – follow the manufacturer's directions. The surfaces that are being disinfected (in the case of disinfectants applied as a solution) need to remain wet during the required contact time. Generally, apply disinfectants to surfaces to the point that it is running off. Most disinfectants will need to be rinsed off following the required contact time, follow the recommendations on the label.

    Note: There is little value in disinfecting surfaces if the dry and wet cleaning have not been completed. The mud, manure and bedding will prevent adequate disinfection by protecting surfaces and inactivating many disinfectants.

  5. Drying – Ideally, surfaces that are disinfected should be allowed to dry. However, this may be impractical during certain times of the year or when operational demands prevent the delay.

Schedule 6: Shipping Record (Sample)


Herd of Origin (Business name/Contact information/PID):

Shipper (Name/Contact information of transporter):

Destination Herd (Business name/Contact information/PID):

Description of animals transferred (number/class/age):

Individual Identification number (Single Animal CCIS Number/Group listing attached):

Additional identification information (Brand/Other):

Vaccination record (group) (Date/product):

Treatment record of animals shipped (individual) (Date/product):

Diseases or Health Issues in Herd of Origin in past 12 months:

Schedule 7: Contact List (web and phone)

Federal & Provincial Government Contacts

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

National: 1-800-442-2342; 613-773-2342

Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada

CFIA Area Offices

Atlantic Area 506-851-7400

Quebec 514-283-8888

Ontario 519-837-9400

Western Area 403-292-4301

Department of Agriculture Contacts

National (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)


Telephone: 613-773-1000


Telephone: 310-FARM (3276)

Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian: 780-427-3448

British Colombia


Telephone: 1-250-387 5121

Office of the Chief Veterinarian: 1-800-661-9903, 1-604-556-3003


Telephone: 866-Manitoba

Office of the Chief Veterinarian

New Brunswick


Telephone: 506-453-2666

Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian: 506-453-5443



Telephone: 709-637-2591

Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer

Nova Scotia

Telephone: 902-424-4560

Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer: 902-893-3491



Telephone: 519-826-3100, 1-866-424-1300

Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer: 519-826-4301

Prince Edward Island


Telephone: 902-368-4145, 1-866-PEI-FARM (866-734-3276)


Telephone: 418-380-2140, 1-866-424-1300

Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer: 418-380-2100, ext. 3134



Telephone: 1-866-457-2377

Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer: 306-787-5547

National and Provincial Producer Association Contacts


Canadian Cattlemen's Association


Telephone: 403-275-8558 (Calgary), 613-233-9375 (Ottawa)

National Cattle Feeders Association


Telephone: 403-769-1519


Alberta Beef Producers


Telephone: 403-275-4400

Alberta Cattle Feeders Association

Telephone: 1-403-250-2509, 1-800-363-8598

British Colombia

B.C. Cattlemen's Association


Telephone: 250-573-3611

B.C. Association of Cattle Feeders

Telephone: 1-877-884 4391


Manitoba Beef Producers


Telephone: 1-204-772-4542, 1-800-772-0458

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Cattle Producers

Telephone: 506-458-8534

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture


Telephone: 709-747-1759

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Cattle Producers


Telephone: 902-893-7455


Ontario Cattlemen's Association

Telephone: 519-824-0334

The Ontario Cattle Feeders' Association

Telephone: 519-539-6623

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Cattle Producers


Telephone: 1-902-368-2229


Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec

Telephone : 1-450-679-0540, ext. 8287


Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association


Telephone: 1-306-665-2333, 1-877-908-2333

Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association

Telephone: 306-382-2333

Additional Information - Biosecurity / Animal Health / Industry


Animal Biosecurity

Federally Reportable Diseases in Canada - 2013

National Farm-Level Biosecurity Planning Guide Proactive Management of Animal Resources

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs

Beef - Health Management and Biosecurity

Biosecurity: Health Protection and Sanitation Strategies for Cattle and General Guidelines for Other Livestock

Government of Alberta

Biosecurity in Alberta

Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO)

Beef InfoNet

Other Industry Contacts

Animal Nutrition Association of Canada


Telephone: 613-241-6421

listing of FeedAssure™ Certified Facilities

Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS)

Telephone: 1-403-275-8558

Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA)

Telephone: 1-877-909-2333 (BEEF)

The Canadian Animal Health Coalition

Telephone: 1-519-829-2242

Verified Beef Production Program (VBP)

Telephone: 1-403-275-8558

Schedule 8: Deadstock Disposal Plan (Sample)

Producers should confirm that their deadstock management practices comply with federal and provincial regulations.

Operation Name:

Province: Permitted Y / N Available Y / N Comments
Natural Disposal
Where How Not permitted if
My preferred means of disposal is
My alternate means of disposal is
My deadstock storage, if available, is

Potential Scenarios

Scenario 1: Range / Community Pasture
Disposal generally achievable within 48 hours Yes/ No Comment
Conditions Required for Preferred Means:
Alternate means required if:
Scenario 2: Pasture / Feedlot
Disposal generally achievable within 48 hours Yes/ No Comment
Conditions Required for Preferred Means:
Alternate means required if:
Scenario 3: Animal Euthanized with veterinary drugs
Disposal generally achievable within 48 hours Yes/ No Comment
Conditions Required for Preferred Means:
Alternate means required if:
Scenario 4: Reportable Disease
Disposal generally achievable within 48 hours Yes/ No Comment
Conditions Required for Preferred Means:
Alternate means required if:

Additional Biosecurity measures used:

Schedule 9: Manure Management Plan (Sample)

Producers should confirm that their manure management practices comply with provincial federal and provincial regulations.

Development of manure management plans may be complex and subject to federal and provincial government regulatory requirements. Producers should confirm that their plan complies with federal and provincial regulations.

Provincial websites are also excellent sources of additional information.

Composting manure prior to disposal has a number of benefits:


Frequency of removal, e.g. annually, monthly, weekly:

Storage location :

Storage period prior to sale/further use, e.g. months, years:

Planned use, e.g. sale, spread, etc.:

Withholding period (time until grazing or harvest permitted), months:

(Manure application log Courtesy of the Canadian Horticulture Council)

Additional biosecurity considerations include:

Schedule 10: Herd Health Plan (Sample)

Operation: space

Veterinary Practitioner (Contact Information):

Names (personal & business)

Phone (office & cell)



Nutrition: Feed and mineral plan based on seasonality and age and/or gender class
Group 1:
Group 2:
Group 3:
Group 4:

Reproduction Objectives or Plan

Herd Health Plan Sample: Reproduction Objectives or Plan
Calving period # Days: Start date: Stop date: Location:
Breedings Total: Last calf: Mature: 1st calf:
Weaning weights Avg Cows Heifers
Calving pattern % born in 21 days Cows Heifers

Genetics Objectives or Plan

Herd Health Plan Sample: Genetics Objectives or Plan

Weaning weight

Calving ease

Primary Diseases being managed / prevented on an ongoing basis:


Planned procedures (date):

Herd Health Plan Sample: Planned procedures
Procedure Date
Pregnancy check

Vaccination / Immunization Plan

Herd Health Plan Sample: Vaccination / Immunization Plan
Timing Disease Issue Product Delivery Method Target Group (age and/or gender class)

Welfare: per code of practice (see

Herd Health Calendar: enter dates – include start / stop dates – of above activities


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space


Start: space

Stop: space

Schedule 11: Unusual Disease Situation Plan (Sample)

Operation Name:

Initial Response



Veterinary Advice:

Box Staff notified of unusual disease situation:

Elevated Biosecurity

Elevated Biosecurity Required:


Stand Down

Return to normal practices:

Schedule 12: Visitor Log (Sample)

For biosecurity reasons, all visitor entries are recorded

Entry is recorded at the earliest point of entering the operation.

Visitors include all people entering with permission, e.g. service providers and professionals, school tours, international visitors, etc. Excludes personnel (owner/operators, staff, and family (etc.)

Date Name Company Contact Number License Plate No. Comments Previous livestock / farm contact (Y / N) Entered Production Area (Y / N) Animal Contact (Y / N)

Schedule 13: Entry Requirements: For People, Vehicles, Equipment and Tools

Risk Category: Low-risk

Criteria: Within the past 14 days has: No livestock contact; One or no visits to livestock operations

Description and Comments:

Biosecurity Requirements: No requirements, other than to record all visits.

Risk Category: Moderate-risk

Criteria: Neighbouring (fence-line) livestock operator; or within the past 14 days: has livestock contact at one operation, or has visited more than one livestock operation.

Description and Comments:

Biosecurity Requirements: Minimize access to Production Area.

Prevent all but essential contact with cattle.

Before access is permitted, ensure clean footwear / clothing / tires / surfaces, all visibly clean of organic matter.

Risk Category: High-risk

Criteria: Other livestock operator (including employee); or within the past 14 days has livestock contacts at multiple operations; or Persons From Other Countries where reportable diseases are a concern; or handles sick or segregation animals at this or other operations.

Description and Comments:

Biosecurity Requirements: Prevent all but essential access to the Production Area or contact with cattle.

Before access or contact is permitted, ensure:

Schedule 14: Animal Movement Log (Sample)

Purchased – Died – Sold / Shipped – Moved Record: Year: space

Date Animal ID Pen ID CCIA / ATQ Number Number of Head Purchased Died Sold or Shipped WD Check (initial) Moved To / From Whom Comments

Schedule 15: Health Log (Sample)

Individual Animal Health Treatments: Year space

Health Log Sample: Individual Animal Health Treatments
Date(s) Animal ID Reason for Treatment Product Used Dose and Route Withdrawal Times Died Comments Initials
Shipping WD Check Shipping WD Check Shipping WD Check Shipping WD Check

SC = subcutaneous (under skin)

IM = intramuscular

O = oral

T = topical

1 ml = 1 cc

Conduct visual check for needles after each injection

WD = withdrawal time

Adapted with permission, from VBP Producer Manual

Health Log (Sample)

Pen or Herd Animal Health Treatments: Year space

Pen or Group or Herd:
Animal Health Products:
Dose and Route:
Withdrawal Time:
Dose and Route:
Withdrawal Time:
Dose and Route:
Withdrawal Time:
Dose and Route:
Withdrawal Time:
Dose and Route:
Withdrawal Time:
Other Procedures:

Box Castration

Box Dehorning


Shipping WD Check (date and initials):

1. space

2. space



Animal ID Animal ID Animal ID Animal ID Animal ID

Adapted with permission, from VBP Producer Manual

Schedule 16: Feed Log (Sample)

Record incoming feed, whether produced on the farm or purchased.

Take and record samples from all non-HACCP feed suppliers. Hold samples at least nine months after the date of sampling noted here.

Written assurance from Non-HACCP suppliers of processed feed will be filed with this record.

Feed Supplier Information Medicated Feed Information Storage
Purchased or Commercially
Processed Feed
Off Farm?
If Yes,
Date Of
Name of
(from feed
(mg. of
/ kg of feed,
from feed
(from feed
(bin No.

Adapted with permission, from VBP Manual

Date modified: