With various livestock-related events hitting full stride here in AZ about now, I thought I’d reiterate some points about mitigating the disease risks that go hand-in-hand with these events when lots of strangers (people and critters) gather at a single point for a while.
For those of you recovering from a recent head cold or other ailment contracted during a holiday gathering, you’re likely acutely aware of the ramifications.
Requiring a vet inspection within a short period of time prior to the event won’t eliminate all problems (not all can be seen or the timing might be wrong). But a vet check will improve your odds of not having an unwanted visitor attend your event.
During an event, important disease prevention/mitigation procedures are warranted. They include minimizing the sharing of water and feed/equipment, applying insect repellent daily, and closely observing animals for signs of disease.
I can hear some saying, “Insects this time of year?” It does stay warm enough in much of Arizona for insects to remain active. Be aware of what’s going on and be vigilant. That’s my point. It’s along the lines of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Sound advice.
In response to the Equine Herpes Virus outbreak associated with an event in Ogden, UT event in 2011, folks at California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) developed a biosecurity toolkit for equine events. It is very extensive, broken down into 3 components – Basic, Enhanced and an Appendix of Forms, Charts, and Guides. In 2014 folks primarily in CO released their biosecurity and business continuity guidance based in part on the CA work. Both of these are great references.
Best of luck to all and enjoy the ride.