Biosecurity on the stable yard
With the ever-present threat of exotic and notifiable diseases there is even more reason for good stable biosecurity. Good stable and yard biosecurity will help combat the spread of diseases such as strangles and equine influenza whilst at the same time keep your horse healthy thereby reducing discomfort for your horse, costs in keeping and your own stress levels too.
General stable biosecurity is always in favour and learning your horse’s normal vital signs and behaviour will enable you to detect any symptoms or signs of disease on a daily basis.
First think about the risks on your own yard or stable by factoring in the number of horses, the level of horses attending shows and events or those visiting the yard for training, showing and other activities which will affect the yard’s particular risk level.
Biosecurity actions may include:
General hygiene such as washing hands/clothes/feed and water buckets/horse boxes and trailers/general equipment/stables/stable doors and surfaces.
Providing hand sanitisers for visitors and staff.
Providing clean water with each horse having their own water/feed buckets.
Feeding appropriate nutrients dependant on the circumstances.
Using individual rugs/tack/brushes and general tack.
Deep cleaning using Defra approved broad spectrum disinfectants such as Virkon S.
Isolating new arrivals with emphasis on horses from sales, unknown yards and those arriving in commercial horse boxes.
Making sure that vaccinations and worming programmes are up to date.
On the yard:
Keep your dung heap away from the horses and as dry as possible to reduce the breeding sites available for insects such as flies.
Stop water pooling from rainfall or leaking pipes.
Keep the feed room clean, tidy and secure to prevent access from rats and mice.
Good physical security on the yard with regard to fences or gates etc.
Reduce the insect burden by the use of fly sprays/repellents/rugs
Car parks should be away from the horses.
In high risk situations keep a visitor’s book.
If you are ever in doubt about the welfare of your horse consult your vet.