As we enter into horse show season and County Fairs, it is critical to practice biosecurity. Here are eight biosecurity tips:
1. Work with your veterinarian to ensure horses are current with recommended vaccines.
2. Keep sick horses at home. Watch for signs of fever, nasal discharge and diarrhea.
3. Wash your hands frequently! Bring water, soap, hand sanitizer and paper towels with you.
4. Clean and disinfect stalls at fairgrounds and show facilities. Spray-on commercial disinfectants are readily available. Diluted bleach (8 ounces bleach to 1 gallon of water) is an inexpensive disinfectant, but it works best on a surface that has been thoroughly cleaned.
5. Do not share feed and water buckets, hay bags, grooming tools, tacks, or manure forks. Disinfect these items frequently and after arriving home from an event.
6. Limit exposure. Do not allow horses to have nose-to-nose contact. Limit the general public’s contact with your horses and your contact with other horses.
7. Upon returning home from a show, wash your hands, shower, and change clothing and shoes before working with horses kept at home.
8. Isolate returning horses from resident horses for 14 days. Monitor horses daily for signs of fever, nasal discharge and diarrhea. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
For more information on biosecurity, visit the United States Department of Agriculture website.