Biosecurity Tip of the Month: Providing Contact Information

Biosecurity Tip of the Month: Providing Contact Information

Provide event organizers with current contact information so they can get in touch with you in the event of a disease outbreak.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Filling out an entry form for a show, clinic, trail ride, or other equine event can seem like a daunting task. Why do show organizers need all this contact information, especially if it's a one-day event that you'll only be at for a few hours? But consider this: If a horse at the event, maybe one stalled by you, tests positive for an infectious disease, would you want to know? Here's how to ensure officials can keep you informed if a disease breaks out.

Biosecurity Risk: Horses incubating a pathogen return home and are diagnosed with an infectious disease. Horses with direct or indirect contact with the infected animal are exposed and should be monitored. Without up-to-date contact information, organizers can't inform you.

Depending on the protocols facilities have in place, the biosecurity risk to your horse can range from minor to major, or be somewhere in between:

  • High Biosecurity Risk—No owner/agent contact information available and no records of the horse's stabling location and movement on the event grounds are available.
  • Medium Biosecurity Risk—The owner/agent's phone number and address are available, but information on where the horse is stalled at the event and where the horse's home premises is located aren't available. Horse movement on event grounds is not monitored.
  • Minimal Biosecurity Risk—Complete owner/agent contact information, including cell phone and email address, is obtained. Origin and destination premises for horses are recorded upon arrival, and horse movement and stabling on event grounds is tracked electronically.

Biosecurity Fix: Provide event organizers with current owner/agent contact information, including cell phone and email, and accurate horse stabling and movement records so they can contact you in the event of a disease outbreak.

And as always, remember to provide a safe and healthy environment for your horse by practicing good biosecurity at your farm and while traveling

Information provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture Biosecurity Toolkit for Equine Events

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