Canada unveils new farm biosecurity standard

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association unveiled a new on-farm standard for biosecurity this week to producers of cattle throughout Canada.

The standard, developed along with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, outlines practices on a farm that would minimize the introduction and control the spread of infectious diseases in Canadian cattle. Rob McNabb, the general manager of the CCA, said the standard took several years to develop and that a lot of farmers already use these practices, Portage Online reports.

"I think eventually if a producer wishes to implement or develop their own customized plan, which ultimately would certainly be achievable, it could lead to having somebody verify those practices are in place, and that could create an added value for cattle being sold off the farm," McNabb said, according to Portage Online.

The standard is based on the four principles of managing and minimizing risks connected with animal movement; managing the movement of vehicles, people, equipment and tools; managing health practices for animals; and fostering the knowledge of employees and their training on biosecurity principles and practices.

McNabb said that the standard allows itself to be audited.

"Once a plan is developed by individual operations then it's certainly not unlike our on-farm food safety program," McNabb said, according to Portage Online. "It certainly lends itself to being audited if that's what the industry wants to do, and that's what the supply chain or marketplace is looking for that."