The Ekka Show is a major event in the Australian livestock industry in Queensland, and it is important to take biosecurity measures to protect your animals from disease. For livestock exhibitors, the show represents the culmination of hard work and dedication. However, it also poses potential risks to the health of your animals due to increased exposure to infectious diseases. Implementing biosecurity measures is crucial to safeguard your livestock and ensure their well-being during events like the Ekka Show.
This article will outline important biosecurity recommendations and highlight effective disinfectants, such as Neogen’s Viroxide Super Disinfectant and more.
The Ekka Show is a large event with a lot of livestock and people in attendance. This creates a potential breeding ground for disease transmission. Some of the ways that diseases can be transmitted at the show include:
- Direct contact between animals
- Sharing equipment
- Contact with contaminated surfaces
- Contact with people who have been in contact with sick animals
There are a number of things you can do to implement biosecurity measures at the Ekka Show. Some of these include:
Biosecurity Preparations before the Show:
Prior to the Ekka Show, it is essential to take the following steps to protect your animals:
- Work with your veterinarian to ensure you have required health paperwork and any other required documentation completed.
- Monitor your animal’s health for signs of illness. If you see anything out of the ordinary, consult with your veterinarian — you should never take a sick animal to a show.
- Clean and disinfect all your show, grooming, feeding and watering equipment before taking them to the show.
Dr. Wagner notes to be sure to watch your animal’s eating habits, and to recognize any potential signs of illness such as discharge from the eyes, mouth or nose, coughing, wheezing, sneezing or diarrhea.
“Keep the animal comfortable and reduce stress by making sure they eat and drink,” he said. “Something you can do prior to the show is put electrolytes in the water, because many times the water source is going to be different. If your animal is used to having those components in their water, they will continue to drink at the show.”
Biosecurity Measures during the Ekka Show:
Careful vigilance is essential while the event is ongoing. This is where the risks are highest, so act accordingly!
- Monitor your animal’s health. If you suspect your animal is sick, notify a show official immediately.
- Avoid direct contact with other animals.
- Don’t share feed/water buckets, grooming supplies and other equipment with other exhibitors.
- Don’t place water hoses into buckets when watering. This might cause transfer of pathogens.
Keep your area clean. Remove manure often.
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after handling animals or equipment. Keep hand sanitizer readily available.
- Clean and disinfect equipment between use.
“Ensure that you’re using the same feedstuffs that you’re using at home,” Dr. Wagner said. “If your animals maintain eating and drinking, despite the new environment, they’re going to face less stress.”
Post-Show Biosecurity Practices:
After the Ekka Show concludes, follow these steps to maintain biosecurity and protect your livestock:
- Isolate your returning animals from the rest of your animals when you arrive home. That way, if they picked up an infectious disease at the show but aren’t showing symptoms yet, they won’t spread the bacteria or virus. Consult your veterinarian about location, distance and isolation duration.
- Don’t share equipment between isolated animals and your other animals.
- Monitor your animals’ health closely.
- Clean and disinfect all equipment, shoes, vehicles and trailers that you took to the show. Allow them to dry completely.
“It’s important to make time for biosecurity in situations like shows and exhibitions, despite the fact that everybody’s busy that time of year,” Dr. Wagner said. “You’ve worked so hard to get to that point. The important part is being able to take time for these additional steps to ensure that your animal is healthy so that you can be successful.”
For more livestock show biosecurity tips, watch Dr. Wagner explain his best practices here.
The Ekka Show presents both opportunities and risks for livestock exhibitors. Implementing effective biosecurity measures is essential to protect your animals from infectious diseases and ensure their well-being. By working closely with your veterinarian, following recommended hygiene practices, and utilizing reliable disinfectants and cleaners, such as Neogen’s products, you can promote a healthy and successful show experience for your livestock. Remember to prioritize biosecurity preparations, maintain vigilance during the show, and implement post-show practices to uphold the health and welfare of your animals.
Here are some tips on how to clean and disinfect equipment after the Ekka Show:
- Use a disinfectant that is effective against a wide range of pathogens. Look for a disinfectant that is registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. This will ensure that you are using the disinfectant correctly and safely.
- Clean and disinfect all equipment, including buckets, brushes, grooming supplies, and trailers. Pay special attention to areas that come into contact with animals, such as the feed and water buckets.
- Allow the disinfectant to dry completely before using the equipment again. This will ensure that the disinfectant has had time to kill all of the pathogens.
We recommend using our Viroxide Super Disinfectant for cleaning and disinfecting equipment before, during and after the Ekka Show. Neogen’s Viroxide Super is a powerful disinfectant that is effective against a wide range of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is also safe for use around animals and humans.
By following these tips, you can help to protect your animals from disease and ensure that your animals are safe and healthy.