Action Point: Establish a designated isolation stall or paddock on the property.
Rationale: A designated isolation area should be available at all times on any property with more than 1 horse, even in the case of a small family farm with a closed herd. If a horse falls ill, isolation is key in protecting the other horse(s) on the property from a potentially infectious disease.
Unless there is proof of a negative Coggins test and up-to-date vaccination records when a new horse arrives on the property, the best practice is to keep it isolated for 2 to 3 weeks before introducing it to the rest of the herd.
Action Point: Tailor a biosecurity protocol specific to the farm.
Rationale: Cleanliness, consistency, and attention to detail are all required to ensure horses are protected from infectious disease to the best of one’s ability.
While most steps below will be relevant to all facilities, there will be some variation. For example, this farm does not have horses that travel off of the property or visit from other farms. However, people do visit from other farms and therefore must sign-in, walk through a foot bath, and clean their hands prior to entering the barn and/or interacting with our horses.
A Coggins test and proof of vaccination are required for any new horse that will be residing on the farm. Likewise, a quarantine protocol will be developed in case there is a sick or new horse. There will be at least one quarantine area available at all times.
Action Point: Ensure there is hot running water, soap and clean towels available in the bathroom at all times. Install alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizer or sanitizer wipe dispensers throughout the barn and encourage everyone to use them before and after touching horses.
Rationale: Proper hand cleaning isn’t only for veterinarians. Clean hands save lives and help prevent the transmission of infectious disease.