National Farm-Level Mink Biosecurity Standard
What Is Biosecurity For Mink Farms?
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On-farm biosecurity encompasses a set of organized, well-planned procedures that are applied at the farm level. The primary objective is to reduce the exposure of mink to infectious disease-causing agents including their introduction, spread within the farmed mink population and release from the farm. (Appendix A provides a glossary of terms used in this document.)
Biosecurity is only successful if the producer commits to learning and implementing the basic principles of biosecurity. Biosecurity is not a new concept, nor are most biosecurity principles difficult or expensive for producers to implement. Many daily activities that producers perform involve biosecurity measures. To ensure maximum benefit, without wasting human and capital resources, committing to and implementing a structured biosecurity program is advised. Producers can protect their animals and ensure the success and sustainability of their industry by implementing biosecurity.
Disease can result in devastating losses. Operations with poor disease control may become a significant risk to the rest of the industry; if an infectious disease occurs on the premises, all mink farms are at risk. Every operation needs a biosecurity program, regardless of the number of mink that are raised.
Common sources of infectious agents:
- Escaped/feral mink, neighbours' mink, cats, and wildlife: particularly wild mink, raccoon, skunk, fox, wild birds, rodents, and other pests, including other domestic animals.
- People: can transmit diseases on contaminated hands, footwear, clothing, and even hair.
- Manure and Carcasses: manure and the carcasses of diseased mink can be an important source of infection.
- Newly Purchased Mink: from other farms.
- Feed and Water Sources: including feed delivery trucks.
- Equipment: such as transportation crates, catching and vaccination equipment, feeders, nipples/water cups, and farm tools.
- Vehicles and Farm Equipment: such as tractors and manure spreaders, including the equipment of neighbours and contractors, are exposed to various sources of infection from both inside and outside the farm.
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