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Alabama Meat Goat Safety & Quality Assurance

Alabama Meat Goat Safety and Quality Assurance Dr. Diego M. Gimenez Jr., Extension Specialist, Associate Professor

Assuring the consumer that Alabama goat producers are providing goat products that meet or exceed expectations every time. That they are good to eat, that they are safe and healthy, they taste good and are tender.

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Good Production Practice # 7 

Maintain Biosecurity

Biosecurity measures keep animals safe from the introduction of disease from the environment and other animals. By implementing management and hygiene practices that decrease the risk of introducing or spreading infectious diseases or pathogens, you can maintain biosecurity with your herd.

Biosecurity measures are becoming valuable in preventing and controlling transmission of infectious diseases and pathogens. Used in combination with disinfection and sanitation practices, biosecurity can reduce pathogens to noninfectious levels. The implementation of biosecurity practices can control pathogens and their vectors and, as a result, will reduce economic losses caused by disease outbreaks or transmission of food-borne illnesses.

  • Isolation allows time to monitor animals for disease and sickness.
  • If animals are transported in trailers that have been used for other animals (not yours), there is a chance that your animals can contact disease from the trailer. Make sure that the trailer is cleaned, sanitized, and sterilized before coming on to your property.
  • If you allow others to use your grooming, feeding, or watering equipment for their animals, you will run the risk of infecting your animals.
  • If you practice good, personal hygiene, you will reduce the risk of spreading disease to your animals.
  • If you allow visitors to your animal facility, make sure they have clean shoes. Also be sure that they have not been in contact with known infected animals.

Biosecurity should be addressed within each production unit to improve animal health and to minimize food-borne contamination. Key areas such as sanitation, traffic control, and proper isolation and testing of newly introduced replacement animals should be addressed in order to prevent the introduction and spread of disease to the livestock in the production unit. Implementation should focus on the disease, evaluate risk factors, and determine and establish realistic intervention strategies.

In order to effectively address biosecurity for prevention of animal disease in a production unit, specific disease targets need to be defined. Producers should outline the diseases of concern, their current herd status, herd goals for prevention and control of disease, and management capabilities. Producers must also consider biosecurity issues between production units, such as feedlot to feedlot contamination. Transportation of contamination can be via clothing and vehicles or other equipment that is used in multiple locations within the production system.

Biosecurity is related to food safety issues. Biosecurity will assist in reducing the occurrence and treatment of infectious diseases, control diseases with possible human health implications, and control infectious agents of concern to human health (e.g., E. coli and, Salmonella). Biosecurity is a portion of Alabama Meat Goat Safety and Quality Assurance that benefits producers and consumers alike.


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