Maryland and USDA Officials Distribute Biosecurity Information

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has released the following tips on avoiding transmission of illness in horse facilities. The USDA has published a separate brochure on the same topic (shown at right), which is available online at www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/HorseBioSecurity_final.pdf.  

  • Limit traffic of incoming people who could have been exposed to germs elsewhere.
  • 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 horses for at least two weeks after they return from racetracks or show grounds.

Visitors and employees should use the following disinfection procedures:

  • Clean and disinfect horse and livestock stalls after each use.
  • Mix one part bleach with 10 parts water and spray over areas with which horses have made contact.
  • 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.
  • 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 other farms.
  • Wash clothes before rewearing them around new groups of horses.

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

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