F. Dustan Clark, D.V.M.
Biosecurity for Arkansas Agriculture
What is Biosecurity?
In the context of animal agriculture, biosecurity is the series of management steps taken to prevent the introduction of infectious agents into a herd or flock. Biosecurity usually involves:
- screening and testing incoming animals
- quarantine or isolation for newly purchased or returning animals
- monitoring or evaluation system
Once an infectious agent is in a herd or flock, a similar but slightly different set of management practices are employed to prevent the infectious agent from leaving the farm. In some publications this is also included as part of biosecurity, while in some cases you may see this referred to as biocontainment.
Why is Biosecurity Important?
Biosecurity is important for a number of reasons.
- First, it is an essential aspect of on farm food safety programs. Keeping food products
wholesome and of highest quality is important for the health and welfare of consumers.
- Secondly, animals are healthier and more productive. This benefits the farming community
through greater efficiency and profitability.
- Finally, a vibrant agricultural community is a positive influence on the economy of our state and nation, and an important resource in maintaining a healthy environment.