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About Biosecurity

Biosecurity In Practice is about taking control of reducing the risk of disease transmission in the discharge of our duties as professionals in the field and in our place of business. As veterinarians serving the public we have a clear responsibility to help others understand what biosecurity means and how the everyday care of animals and their interaction with humans helps preserve the health and safety of both. Effective biosecurity is about interpreting risk in a meaningful way and conducting ourselves in a manner that ensures small things get done right all the time.


Biosecurity defined:

A clear, single definition for “biosecurity” does not exist. Definitions appearing on the web and in published scientific literature vary widely. The word “biosecurity” is a relative newcomer to the history of language and, as a term, conveys different things to different people.


Within the context of “biosecurity”, the range of subjects is all-encompassing, extending from mitigation of international bioterrorism to standards in laboratory operating procedures. In veterinary medicine, the term “biosecurity” is frequently associated with prevention of foreign animal disease, but “biosecurity” principles extend to managing and preventing  everyday disease risks faced in production units and a clinic. Therefore, any elaboration of “biosecurity” should be preceded by a definition that helps establish limits on the content and tone of discussion.


Biosecurity includes:

  • Precautions taken to reduce the risk of exposure to disease

  • Preventing introduction of infectious disease

  • Minimizing the risk of disease transmission:

    • between animals

    • between premises

    • between contiguous regions

    • between species of animals, including humans


Biosecurity impacts:

  • Animal health and welfare

  • Human health

  • Food safety

  • International trade

  • Good business practices

  • Legal vulnerability

  • Economic sustainability


Biosecurity fundamentals:

  • Controlling access/introduction of disease

  • Managing animal health programs

  • Managing day-to-day production/business practices