Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsBiosecurity, as defined by the FAO, is a strategic and integrated approach that encompasses the policy and regulatory frameworks including instruments and activities for analyzing and managing relevant risks to human, animal and plant life and health, and associated risks to the environment. Biosecurity covers food safety, zoonoses, the introduction of animal and plant diseases and pests, and the introduction and management of invasive alien species. Thus, biosecurity is a holistic concept of direct relevance to the sustainability of agriculture, and wide-ranging aspects to the public health and protection of the environment, including biological diversity. The health of food animals is inextricably linked to the production of safe food and the health of humans.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 secondsIncreasing stocking density, associated with the drive for the economies of scale required to maintain the commercial viability in an increasingly competitive global food market, presents the opportunity for buildup, and transmission, of infectious agents.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 secondsEnsuring that food is safe from a source of zoonotic agents requires controls along the entire continuum from farm to fork. To reduce the challenge to food safety management systems further along the food chain, it is important that everything that is reasonable, practical, and economically feasible is achieved on the farm in the pre-harvest stages. The ongoing risks have to be highlighted for management at all stages and any residual risks communicated to the final consumer. Furthermore, global distribution of animal feed permits the dissemination of pathogens to geographical areas, individual farms and susceptible livestock that were previously unexposed. In addition, livestock moving between farms and between countries facilitates transmissions of disease.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 secondsThis is often compounded by the stress associated with the transport and the mixing of strange groups of animals.

Skip to 2 minutes and 26 secondsA series of problems in the food industry, culminating in bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has focused the spotlight on practices in feed mills and farms. The Public Health consequences of failure of controls and the appropriate practices at this level emphasize the fact that farming and milling are food businesses and are just as much an integral part of the food chain as caterers and retailers. Farms are not sterile environments. However, an expectation that livestock will receive safe food, safe water, optimal husbandry and veterinary care, that infected wildlife are controlled, and that there is effective effluent management is not unreasonable.

Skip to 3 minutes and 13 secondsThere are primary biosecurity measures based on the risk assessment that are applicable in different farming enterprises that would reduce the incidence of most of zoonotic agents. However, different enterprises in different countries require different controls depending on the epidemiology of the zoonotic agents present in their livestock and in the local human populations, and the intensity of their farming operations. The relative importance of difference zoonoses varies greatly in different regions of the world in terms of their impact on public health, animal health, and the trade in livestock, animal feed, and human food.

Skip to 3 minutes and 54 secondsSome infections cause no morbidity in animals. E-coli 0157 and other vero cytogenic E-coli, yet can cause serious illnesses in humans. Whereas other diseases-- such as brucellosis, salmonellosis, and leptospirosis-- are important for both a public health and human health standpoint. Awareness on the part of food animal producers and the meat, poultry, and diary industries that zoonotic hazards exist is the first step toward their control. It is the primary producer who must take all reasonable measures to prevent the entry of pathogenic agents into his or her holding.

Skip to 4 minutes and 37 secondsThey are responsible for the health of their stock and must adopt a positive approach to animal health on the farm with the objective of eliminating or minimizing exposure of food producing animals to zoonotic agents. The prevention of contamination of the food product with zoonotic hazards at farm level, rather than the 'detection/inspection', which is intrinsic to the implementation of safety control programs at the factory or 'post-harvest' level, is and remains, a primary objective.

Skip to 5 minutes and 10 secondsThe food quality assurance schemes operated in many developed countries have a high educational component, and place considerable emphasis upon an on-farm hygiene and animal health and welfare criteria which are imposed as a condition of entry into the program. A multi-disciplinary approach to zoonosis control will deliver optimum results. And the existing approaches need to be flexible to incorporate advances in the breeding of disease-resistant stock, new vaccines, new approaches to nutrition, and innovative ways to educate farmers as the primary food producers.

Prevention and Biosecurity

Biosecurity, as defined by the FAO, is a strategic and integrated approach that encompasses the policy and regulatory frameworks (including instruments and activities) for analysing and managing relevant risks to human, animal and plant life and health, and associated risks to the environment.

Biosecurity covers food safety, zoonoses, the introduction of animal and plant diseases and pests, and the introduction and management of invasive alien species. Thus biosecurity is a holistic concept of direct relevance to the sustainability of agriculture, and wide-ranging aspects of public health and protection of the environment, including biological diversity.

Furthermore, global distribution of animal feed permits the dissemination of pathogens to geographical areas, individual farms and susceptible livestock that were previously unexposed.

In addition, livestock moving between farms and between countries facilitates the transmission of disease. This is often compounded by the stress associated with the transport and the mixing of strange groups of animals.

A series of problems in the food industry, culminating in bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has focused the spotlight on practices in feed mills and farms. The Public Health consequences of failure of controls and inappropriate practices at this level emphasise the fact that farming and milling are food businesses and are just as much an integral part of the food chain as caterers and retailers.

Furthermore, global distribution of animal feed permits the dissemination of pathogens to geographical areas, individual farms and susceptible livestock that were previously unexposed. Similarly, livestock moving between farms and between countries facilitates the transmission of disease. This is often compounded by the stress associated with the transport and the mixing of strange groups of animals.

A series of problems in the food industry, culminating in bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has focused the spotlight on practices in feed mills and farms.

The public health consequences of failure of controls and inappropriate practices at this level emphasise the fact that farming and milling are food businesses and are just as much an integral part of the food chain as caterers and retailers.

A link to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ‘From Field to Fork’ has been provided here and in the Downloads area for you to explore.

Please share any thoughts that you have about the video, the EFSA webpage or the summary provided above in the discussion area.

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This video is from the free online course:

Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Production in a Changing Environment

EIT Food