The term biosecurity encompasses both bioexclusion (keeping infectious diseases out of holdings) and biocontainment (reducing infectious disease threats within the farm). The work of the Biosecurity TWG contributes to that of the BVD, IBR, Calf health, Johne’s disease, Mastitis and Parasite TWGs and vice versa.
The terms of reference of this TWG are to:
- Provide evidence-based guidelines on how to implement best-practice biosecurity measures.
- Develop new tools to biosecurity risk assess individual holdings.
- Raise awareness of biosecurity.
Achievement of these objectives will support informed decision-making by Irish farmers and the broader livestock industries. All these outputs will feed into national disease control programmes in the future.
One of the key messages from the TWG will be on the biosecurity risks associated with added animals. Added animals include animals bought in (whether imported from abroad or from Irish farms), returning from sales, shows, out-farms, communal grazing or housing and ‘borrowed’ stock, e.g. a bull. These animals represent the greatest biosecurity risk to the resident herd livestock. Mitigation of these risks requires implementation of bioexclusion practices before, during and after animal movement.