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Biosecurity Measures for Equine Transportation

Transporters have a crucial role in preventing or reducing the spread of diseases during transportation. Diseases in livestock can lead to animal health, human health, and economic consequences. This fact sheet highlights key biosecurity tips to protect horses from contracting or spreading diseases during transportation and minimize costs due to outbreak of diseases.

What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a set of measures used to reduce the chance of the introduction and spread of disease-causing organisms and pests. During transportation, horses can be at risk of contracting infectious disease from exposure to infected horses, other animals, carcasses and pests (such as rodents and insects) or contact with manure, bodily fluids and aerosols of infected horses or contaminated trailers, tack, equipment, and people. A chain of strict biosecurity measures is recommended to maintain the health and well-being of horses at the place of loading, during transportation and at the destination site.

Why is biosecurity important?

The transport and movement of horses, particularly those that are infected, provide an opportunity to spread pathogens and infectious diseases. The impact and cost of a disease outbreak can far exceed the cost of implementing biosecurity measures to minimize the risk of introduction and spread of disease. Lack of biosecurity measures during transportation may result in significant financial loses for the transporters and equine industry.

Who is responsible for biosecurity?

Owners, caretakers, transporters, and everyone else involved in the transportation of horses are responsible for ensuring animal health and welfare. It is recommended that biosecurity measures be implemented at all times during loading, on the road and during unloading. Always discuss biosecurity with the horse owner or custodian before transportation.

General Biosecurity Recommendations

Biosecurity Best Practices

Only load horses onto clean trailers

Dirty trailers can spread disease. To reduce the risk of spreading disease:

Avoid contact with other horses or animals

Animals can appear healthy yet still shed pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that can put other horses at risk of infection. To reduce this risk:

People and equipment

People and equipment that have come into contact with diseased animals or their environment can pose a risk to your horse. To minimize this risk:

For more information, visit the biosecurity standard for livestock, poultry and deadstock transportation on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website at and Canadian Animal Health Coalition website at

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