LEAF has launched a new technical guidance booklet to help livestock farmers improve biosecurity.

Simply Sustainable Biosecurity sets out Six Simple Steps to help farmers carry out best biosecurity practices in order to reduce the risk of disease emergence and spread. It provides technical know-how and tools to help farmers understand and manage the health of their animals and create their own targeted Biosecurity Plan to identify particular risks and how to address them.

Simply Sustainable Biosecurity, which was launched last week at LEAF’s IFM Field Event, is the fourth in LEAF’s ‘Simply Sustainable’ series of technical guidance booklets designed to support farmers in delivering more sustainable farming through Integrated Farm Management (IFM). The other booklets in the series include soil, water and biodiversity.

In a statement of support for the new resource, Lord Gardiner, Defra Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, set out the government’s commitment to boosting the productivity of UK agriculture through a strong focus on science and research and said that promoting biosecurity internationally, at UK borders and at farm level, was a key priority: “LEAF’s Simply Sustainable Biosecurity booklet has an important role to play in promoting biosecurity; advocating simple, effective measures that animal keepers can easily integrate into their existing farming routines. An effective plan for biosecurity is crucial in controlling disease, raising welfare standards and resulting in healthy and productive animals.”

Caroline Drummond, chief executive of LEAF, added: “Consumers, the food and farming industry and government are focusing more than ever on environmental issues, with biodiversity and biosecurity key elements of Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan and the emerging Agricultural Bill. Raising awareness of the importance of good on-farm biosecurity measures is part of LEAF’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing animal health and welfare through IFM.

“A thriving livestock industry hinges on healthy and happy animals; best biosecurity practices are key to driving forward a more efficient and resilient livestock sector. We are delighted to have developed the Simply Sustainable Biosecurity booklet, offering farmers practical, straightforward advice which will help them protect their assets, avoid costly mistakes and achieve financial benefits.”

Jenny Clark, LEAF senior technical assistant, concluded: “Many farmers are already carrying out best biosecurity practices. This booklet is designed to be used as an aide-memoire, encouraging farmers to consider their farm as a whole, identify areas of weakness and provide them with the tools to develop a biosecurity plan suited to their own specific business enterprise, location and disease risks. Case studies also provide real-life examples of how our farmers are tackling biosecurity issues on a variety of livestock enterprises.”

Simply Sustainable Biosecurity is freely available and can be downloaded from www.leafuk.org/farming/simply-sustainable-series

 

 

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.