When looking after large quantities of animals for a large-scale commercial venture it is vital to have a handle on the effective management of animal hygiene, care and well-being. Especially in the cases of large-scale farming operations, animal hygiene and care could be the difference between making a profit and losing money, due to the ferocity with which infection and disease can spread through a herd or flock if an outbreak is not managed correctly.
The production of healthy livestock is a responsibility of farm owners to ensure that there is a safe food supply to consumers, and that prices remain stable between all parties. Animal health and hygiene protocols are needed to prevent animal disease outbreaks in order to make that responsibility an achievable outcome.
An outbreak of animal disease can have far reaching consequences for a country as a whole. When an outbreak takes place there is a need for animal slaughters, to eradicate the infected carriers, a halt in trade and the efforts to eradicate the disease before the entire process can be started all over again. This can cause problems to the single farm where the outbreak has taken place, but also on a much wider scale affect the industry within that country, public health and global trade and supply chains.
A high level of animal health and hygiene on a micro-level, will always lead to the bigger picture becoming healthier, allowing for safer supplies of food, a higher rate of productivity in farms, a lower impact on the environment and less of a need to resort to the use of antibiotics for animals. All of this comes from a greater sense of animal well-being that permeates the industry as a whole.
Prevention is always better than cure in any walk of life, but it is even more important when discussing animal hygiene and care. Animals that are cared for in the appropriate manner are more likely to lead a healthy life and in the process, less likely to both contract disease, and become a carrier and spread infection throughout a flock or herd. Within large-scale commercial farming it is vital that the health and hygiene of animals are looked after to a high and consistent standard, as it will lead to the healthier animal mentioned above. Of course, aside from the health of the animals, this approach will help commercial ventures to remain profitable and to maintain levels of rural sustainability.
With the correct approach to animal hygiene on a small and consistent basis of each farm, we should be able to see an overall improvement within commercial farming that ensures there isn’t the need for the mass culls of livestock animals that has been used as a reactionary tool in the past to remove animals in poor health and/or carrying disease. Of course, this will always be an option, but with a good foundation of farming protocols and processes, biosecurity plans and sanitation procedures, the need can be limited. With careful biosecurity management, animal hygiene and care can ensure a profitable commercial farming venture that looks after animals, the supply chain, and the consumer with a proactive process rather than a reactionary response.