For farmers and herdsmen, there is nothing more important than the health and safety of their herd. In fact, it is the responsibility of every farmer and herdsman to take necessary steps to provide better nourishment, maintain hygiene and prevent diseases in their herd.
Some major steps to be taken for preventing diseases are vaccinating the animals, testing them for diseases and reporting to nearby Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) Office. Farmers and herdsmen should also be in touch with veterinary doctors so that they can guide them about various animal diseases and how to detect them through observing signs and symptoms in the animals.
Here are some steps which farmers and herdsmen should take to ensure a healthy and safe nurturing of their livestock.
Provide the Right Feed and Maintain Hygiene
The first step is to determine the right feed stuff for the herd. It also includes vitamin and mineral supplements. Second step is to choose the right quantity of food given to the animals on daily basis.It is important to know that animals should be well-fed and not over-fed, as this leads to various health problems in the animals.
Maintaining hygiene of animals is necessary to prevent the growth of parasites and fungi. The animals should be provided with clean and disease-free food and water along with maintaining proper sanitation of their surroundings.
Detection of Diseases
Farmers should have an understanding of how to identify the signs of a disease in the farm animals. As soon as a disease is detected, they should inform the AHVLA office.The AHVLA will perform the tests on the samples in their laboratories in order to detect any parasitic, bacterial or viral disease. Other tests include necropsy, abortion, milk test and still-birth.
Controlon Spreading Of Animal Diseases
When the AHVLA confirms a disease, it provides a list of measure to be taken to control the spreading of the disease. These include:
- Isolating the infected animals
- Testing other animals of the herd for any signs of infection
- Initiate treatment of the infected animal
- If treatment is not possible, then arrange slaughter and safe disposal of the infected animal.
- Establish surveillance zones for investigating the source of disease and prevent any future occurrences of the disease.
Furthermore, biosecurity measures should be taken for preventing diseases, most important being disinfection. All equipment, vehicles and clothing must be disinfected before and after contact with animals.
Test the Animal Feed
Animal feed should not include any processed animal proteins as they have a direct link with fatal diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
AHVLA provides 3 tests that can detect animal protein in the feed. These are:
- Microscopic Analyst Test
- Real-time PCR
- Counter Immuno-Electrophoresis
Good health of the herd ensures a longer life span and an increase in their productivity. Control and prevention of animal diseases is a quite difficult task, but it must be carried out to make sure every animal of the herd is free of disease and lives in a healthy secure environment.
Kilco is an animal health and food Production Company which aims to work in a close association with the farming industry to increase animal health and improve hygiene and biosecurity standards for of livestock.