Bio Security

Bio Security on a Farm or Smallholding

A farm or small holding with good biosecurity will have:

Excellent levels of general hygiene;

Gates, boundaries and hedges that are secure and well maintained with a ten foot gap (alpaca spitting distance) between each area used by different groups of alpacas;

A disinfecting mat or brush and water for cleaning footwear and a dip of FAM 30 or similar, to be used on entering and leaving the farm or smallholding;

Facilities to wash hands before and after being on the premises and handling animals;

Facilities to scrub and disinfect tyres on trailers, shared farm machinery and other vehicles before entering and on leaving the farm or smallholding;

Feed stores that are secure enough to prevent access by wild animals (clamped);

A pest control programme;

Animal shelters that are well maintained with clean bedding;

Water troughs, saltlicks and feeding troughs/bowls at least 30 inches off the ground and feeding equipment that can be turned over at night to prevent foraging and contamination by wild animals;

Mains water that doesn’t pass through other farms before reaching the alpaca herd;

Access gates that leave no more than a 4 inch gap above the ground;

An available isolation paddock in the event of illness in any of the herd;

A Herd Health Plan agreed with a local vet and a document of Herd Health Status;

An obvious sign asking visitors to report to the owner before entering the premises; 

A map of the farm and the boundaries;

Information on the symptoms of alpaca disease.

 

An owner or breeder with good biosecurity awareness will:

Be able to identify every animal on the farm by means of an EID;

Keep records of all movements on and off the farm/small holding with dates and times;

Comply with BAS Quarantine Policy with regard to new stock and visiting animals. Currently the quarantine period is six months;

Know and respond appropriately to the health status of new and visiting stock;

Follow good husbandry procedures including regular preventative treatments and ensure all visitors wash both hands and footwear before entering and on leaving the farm/smallholding;

Prevent nose to nose and other contact between alpacas which have previously had no contact with each other;

Recognise signs of disease in any of the herd and acts quickly if illness is suspected;

Isolate immediately (with a companion animal that can be sacrificed if necessary) sick animals;

Remove fallen stock quickly and have a post mortem carried out on each animal that dies due to illness or disease;

Have general knowledge on animal welfare, species habitats and wildlife legislation;

Be aware of wild life activity on the farm and be able to identify sources of infection e.g. badgers, deer, foxes, crows and vermin;

Take precautions against the transmission of disease to alpacas by wildlife e.g. by use of electric fences to deter badgers, clean troughs and water containers, not feeding stock from the ground;

Not use slurry or manure from other premises; 

Not make hay or haylage from areas known to include badger latrines;

Feed straight onto the ground;

Preferably remove alpaca dung regularly and compost away from the herd. Alternatively harrow the ground and let it rest over winter.

Caveat

This document is not exhaustive. It was compiled from literature available at the BAS TB Awareness in Camelid meetings held during January and February 2010 and presented by Dr Gina Bromage. It includes advice from Field Services South West.