Equine biosecurity

Keep biosecurity measures in mind while traveling with your horse this summer to reduce potential infectious disease spread

Simply put - biosecurity refers to measures intended to protect against the spread of disease or biological contamination. Implementing simple practices can go a long way in protecting your equine investment.

Michigan State University Extension  recommends that a minimum biosecurity plan should at least include: clean boots, clean hands, clean clothes and clean equipment. It is also important to understand the potential risks and have a plan to reduce those associated risks.

Consider these other top priorities for equine biosecurity when developing your plan:

1)       Develop vaccination plan for herd health and travel schedule

2)       Don’t share equipment or water buckets

3)       Quarantine new and sick animals

4)       Avoid equine nose to nose contact when traveling

5)       Disinfect trailers and housing before introducing new animals

6)       Keep horses away from stored or spread manure

Additionally, know some of the basic symptoms of a potentially sick horse for early detection of disease.

 General Signs of Illness:                                                                                             

  • Drainage from eyes
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy (lack of energy)
  • Loss of or no appetite
  • Nasal discharge
  • Difficult breathing
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Blisters or sores
  • Behavioral changes
  • Lack of coordination                      
  • Inability to rise                                 
  • Twitching or seizing

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has a few reference brochures available to serve as reminders for the equine enthusiast (Equine Exhibitor) and (Equine Events and Show Managers) in regard to biosecurity considerations when you are out and about with your horse this summer.

Safe Travels!     

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