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Biosecurity for Canadian Cervid Farms Producer Planning Guide
Quick reference guide
Summary of principles, strategies and target outcomes

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Principle 1: Management of farm, facilities and equipment

Goal: Minimize the effect that farm, facilities and equipment have as contributors to disease transmission.

Strategy 1.1: Assess the biosecurity risks of the area where the farm is located or to be located

Target outcome: Producers understand the risks of the areas they have chosen or are choosing for their farm and manage the risks appropriately.

Strategy 1.2: Assess and identify areas of risk on the farm

Target outcome: Areas of risk on the farm are identified and managed to reduce risks.

Strategy 1.3: Create a diagram of the farm layout

Target outcome: A farm diagram is used to identify farm layout, infrastructure and risk areas.

Strategy 1.4: Clean and disinfect facilities, equipment and vehicles

Target outcome: Cleaning and disinfection methods that are effective in reducing the risk of disease transmission are established and are used for facilities, equipment and vehicles entering, exiting and on the farm.

Strategy 1.5: Design and maintain facilities to reduce disease risks

Target outcome: Facilities are designed and maintained in good repair to reduce access by pests, facilitate cleaning and disinfection, and reduce the accumulation of pathogens and populations of pests. Considerations for biosecurity should be included when selecting a location and designing or renovating facilities

Strategy 1.6: Reduce risk posed by equipment and vehicles

Target outcome: Vehicle and equipment access to and movement within the farm premises is managed to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Strategy 1.7: Manage manure

Target outcome: Accumulations of manure, particularly in winter housing, and around feeding and watering areas are regularly removed and moved in a manner that limits exposure to the herd. Dedicated tools and equipment are used for manure handling, or cleaned and disinfected, prior to other uses. Manure is disposed of or dispersed to minimize pathogen and pest populations.

Strategy 1.8: Manage feed, water and bedding

Target outcome: Management practices are in place to ensure that feed, water, and bedding are of sufficient quantity and quality, and mitigation measures are in place to reduce the risks posed by pathogens and pests.

Strategy 1.9: Manage deadstock

Target outcome: Deadstock, unless anthrax is suspected, are removed immediately from livestock rearing areas and moved in a manner that limits cross-contamination with the herd. Placentas and aborted material and other tissues are managed as deadstock. The deadstock disposal area is located away from the production area and is secured against pets and wildlife. Disposal respects local regulations and is done in a manner that limits disease exposure to the herd.

Principle 2: Animal health management practices

Goal: Maximize the health, well-being and productivity of the herd by implementing a herd health program, managing cervid movements and minimizing contact with other animals.

Strategy 2.1: Sourcing cervids

Target outcome: Animals are sourced from suppliers with herds of known health status or the health status of new animals aligns with the resident herd.

Strategy 2.2: Separate herd additions and returning cervids of undetermined health status from the resident herd (isolation)

Target outcome: Animals brought onto the farm (herd additions and returning animals) are separated from the resident herd and isolated until their disease status has been determined or is resolved.

Strategy 2.3: Minimize contact with other livestock, domestic animals, and pests

Target outcome: Cervid farms are managed to maintain habitat for many desirable species of flora and fauna while minimizing disease risks. Cervids in the resident herd are housed, moved and pastured in such a manner that the risk of contact with other livestock and domestic animals of undetermined health status and pests is minimized. An integrated pest control program should be maintained.

Strategy 2.4: Develop and implement a herd health program

Target outcome: A herd health program is implemented, and serves as the basis for monitoring herd health and proactively identifying and minimizing the risk of disease transmission. The program describes the health regimens and practices used for daily care and disease prevention and control.

Strategy 2.5: Manage and treat sick animals

Target outcome: Animals showing signs of disease may be treated within the herd or moved into an isolation area away from the healthy herd and treated as necessary.

Strategy 2.6: Develop a response plan for disease outbreaks

Target outcome: A disease response plan is developed and implemented to guide response activities when disease is suspected, identified or there is deterioration in health status. The plan should identify triggers for activating the response plan, requirements for enhanced biosecurity and, if warranted self-imposed whole farm isolation procedures (biocontainment).

Principle 3: Management of people

Goal: Minimize the potential risk posed by all farm visitors and farm personnel through the establishment of protocols, training and communication.

Strategy 3.1: Train farmworkers about biosecurity

Target outcome: All farm workers and family members are trained in and consistently implement the farm's biosecurity practices. The farm biosecurity protocol is communicated to visitors and service providers and they comply with it.

Strategy 3.2: Determine the risks posed by people

Target outcome: The potential risks posed by visitors and farm personnel for disease transmission are determined.

Strategy 3.3: Develop and implement risk management practices for all people entering the farm

Target outcome: People working on, providing service to or visiting the farm are guided by defined risk management practices.

Strategy 3.4: Manage zoonotic disease risks

Target outcome: Family members, farm workers, visitors and service providers understand the risks posed by zoonotic diseases and take precautions to protect themselves other people and animals.

Principle 4: Protocols and record-keeping

Goal: Establish protocols and maintain records to facilitate managing, improving and validating the biosecurity program and health status of the herd.

Strategy 4.1: Protocols for animal health and farm management practices

Target outcome: Important biosecurity protocols are readily available to staff, family and service providers as needed, to facilitate reference, training, review and consistent implementation.

Strategy 4.2: Herd and individual animal health records

Target outcome: Herd health and individual animal health records are maintained and reviewed to ensure optimum health and productivity of the herd.

Strategy 4.3: Farm management records

Target outcome: Records of farm management activities, including biosecurity measures, are maintained and reviewed.

Strategy 4.4: Education and training activities

Target outcome: Records of education and training of farm workers are maintained and reviewed to ensure they have the requisite knowledge and skills to successfully conduct their duties.

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