Maryland Officials Distribute Biosecurity Information for Stable Operators

The Maryland Department of Agriculture released the following tips on avoiding transmission of illness.

Keep your stable disease-free:

  • Limit traffic of incoming people who could have been exposed to germs elsewhere.
  • Have visitors and employees follow the disinfection procedures listed below.
  • Newly acquired animals should be isolated for at least 14 days, and up to 30 days, to ensure that disease isn’t introduced to the rest of the horse population. During that time observe the new horses closely.
  • Keep show horses and racehorses segregated from the rest of the horse population for at least two weeks after they return from racetracks or show grounds.

Clean and disinfect:

  • Clean and disinfect stalls used to house horses and other livestock after each use.
  • Mix one part bleach with 10 parts water and spray over areas horses have made contact.

Tires, hands, shoes, and clothes:

  • Take a few minutes to spray disinfectant over vehicle tires to kill germs picked up in parking lots, on dirt roads, or in a stable or pasture.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after handling horses to limit the likelihood of passing on germs.
  • Take time to clean and disinfect shoes before visiting different groups of horses.
  • Mix three parts bleach with two parts water and pour solution into a shallow container to dip shoes in after walking in a stable or pasture.
  • Change clothes or coveralls after handling horses from different locations.
  • Wash clothes before wearing them again to handle new groups of horses.

For more information contact the Maryland Department of Agriculture at 410/841-5810.

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