May 2, 2001 | By: Haven Miller
LEXINGTON, KY.

If you attend the University of Kentucky Sheep Profit Day on May 24th, you'll probably have your vehicle tires treated with disinfectant when you arrive. You also may be asked to wear disposable plastic boots and to stay within certain areas at the research farm.

UK's animal science personnel say the reason for implementing these measures is twofold: to help teach producers about livestock disease prevention, and to actually avoid the chance of an infectious disease entering or leaving the UK farm.

"We're not wanting to alarm folks, we just think it's important to show our attending producers that disease prevention is a sound management practice year-round, whether there are major threats occurring or not," said Monty Chappell, Extension livestock specialist.

Biosecurity, which is the name for practices that prevent the spread of diseases, is something which many farmers practice all year long. It can involve basic precautions such as keeping newly-purchased livestock separated from your herd for a few days, all the way to such things as wearing disposable boots and closing sections of your farm to visitors.

Chappell said UK demonstrates biosecurity measures on a routine basis, but in times of increased disease activity it's prudent to be extra cautious.

"We'll be emphasizing to our producers that infectious organisms can be brought in by all kinds of things, including car tires, clothing, shoes, and even naturally occurring events such as deer and rodents coming onto your property," he said. "We want people to have some idea of how to protect their animals in a pro-active manner."

"A healthy livestock population insures a healthy food supply," said Chappell. "We're hoping that participants in our sheep field day take away with them a much better appreciation for the value of implementing biosecurity measures on the farm."

The sheep field day is a yearly event designed to give both beginning and advanced producers the latest information on nutrition, performance, marketing and disease control. This year's program, which will be held at UK's Animal Research Center in Woodford County, includes sessions on lamb grading, ewe lamb selection, parasite control, the hair sheep project, water quality, livestock nutrition and management during drought conditions, and biosecurity issues.

For additional information on the May 24th Sheep Profit Day contact Monty Chappell at 859-257-2716 or mchappel@ca.uky.edu.

Contact: 

Monty Chappell, 859-257-2716