The most effective strategy for protecting farm animal health is to prevent or reduce the risks of disease or pest introductions. There are many options for practicing preventative biosecurity, such as controlling traffic in and around livestock areas, and sanitizing boots, tools and work clothing. Steps for good biosecurity practices include STAIRS:

Sanitation - Traffic - Assessment - Isolation - Resistance - Security.

Important for prevention is planning to keep animals healthy, and anticipating what to do when they are not. Build a biosecurity plan for your operation—big or small—by using our Create a Plan resources.

Farm workers wearing head coverings, boot covers and overalls while working with a herd of pigs.


An introduction to domestic & foreign animal diseases, managing risks and recommended resources.

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A farm inspector is washing manure off his boots with a brush and bucket of soap.


Cleaning and disinfection, disinfectant selection and use, and steps for emergency sanitation.

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A woman is in a Holstein dairy cow barn looking at one of the pregnant cows.


Decrease the spread of infectious agents in livestock areas by people, insects, manure and other means.

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A small child is reaching out to touch the pink nose of a white-faced cow.


Identify the high and low disease risk pathways in livestock areas, such as farm visitors.

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A white horse is looking out from the top opening of a barn door.


New, returning or sick animals should be separated from the herd to stop disease introductions.

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Two veterinarians are preparing vaccines to give to farm animals.


Vaccination, balanced nutrition and proper animal care protects animals from diseases and pests.

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Pigs at a 4-H fair. Credit: Montgomery County Planning Commission


Awareness of vulnerabilities for animals at on-farm events, fairs, exhibitions, auctions and sales.

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A person filling out a biosecurity plan checklist.

Create a Plan

A biosecurity plan is one of the best defenses against disease and pest introductions.

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