Rural and Environment
Tackling biosecurity in agriculture
Policy Officer Ian Murdoch on the importance of biosecurity in agriculture and what can be done to reduce the risk of diseases being spread.
You might not think an agricultural show and a hospital have much in common.
Everyone will be familiar with the good hygiene rules when walking into a hospital. Not so much when working with livestock.
Agricultural show season is in full swing and biosecurity is an issue that can sometimes be overlooked. It’s not something we keep in mind like we do when we go to a hospital. Maybe it is the excitement of seeing the animals or perhaps a lot of us aren’t used to being in that environment.
But it’s vital we keep the good hygiene rules in mind when we go along to our local shows.
These shows and events are the best places to show off Scotland’s livestock to the local community and beyond. For most of us, it’s not every day you get to see Clydesdale horses or Highland cattle. The reaction on a child’s face when they see and interact with a Clydesdale horse for the first time is a sight to behold.
We love to see that and share that joy with everyone attending our agricultural shows. But we must protect the health and welfare of our animals.
We can all play a very important role in this and it doesn’t take much. The smallest of actions can have the biggest impacts.
If you are interacting with animals at a summer show, please remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitisers and walk through the foot mats when entering and leaving the show grounds. These basic, simple steps ensure that everyone is doing their bit to consider the welfare of our animals.
When you think of the image Scotland presents to the rest of the world, internationally renowned food & drink of the highest quality comes to mind. We produce some of the best quality products from farms in our own country. Reputation is something that takes years to build, but can be destroyed in an instant.
If we couldn’t share our brilliant products with the world, this would be devastating for Scotland.
This is why we must be mindful of the welfare of our animals and conscious of our responsibilities when it comes to biosecurity. Agricultural shows and hospitals really are more alike than you may have thought.