Glossary of Terms

Additional Biosecurity Measures

Biosecurity policies, procedures, and processes to mitigate risk when recommended biosecurity practices cannot be implemented (i.e., a recommendation may be an "all-in/all-out" system). Where this is not possible (i.e., as in the case of continuous flow barns) additional biosecurity measures need to be implemented.

Animal Group

A group of animals separated by age, sex, production stage or health status.


Approved for food or agricultural use by the appropriate regulatory authority for the specific use mentioned on the label and/or manufacturer's literature (e.g. pharmaceuticals, rodenticides, biologics).


A group of pigs placed, grown and sold as a group. It refers to the animals that are raised in an "all-in/all-out" manner. A batch of pigs is a cohort that shares common epidemiological risk factors.


Any structure that encloses animals or animal groups.

Beneficial Practice

A management practice, technique or technology that results in improvement and increased sustainability of the operation.

Biosecurity Program

A disease risk reduction program that conforms to the National Swine Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard.

Buffer Zone

A defined area surrounding a higher level biosecure zone and intended to reduce the risk of pathogen transmission.


A pig or animal which carries a pathogen without clinical signs and is able to transmit the pathogen to other animals.


Free of any visible accumulation of organic matter and debris or other residues.


One or more premises which have clearly defined common biosecurity, health status and management systems. While zoning applies to an animal subpopulation defined primarily on a geographical basis (using natural, artificial or legal boundaries), compartmentalization applies to an animal subpopulation defined primarily by management and common husbandry practices related to biosecurity.


The reduction of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity or mortality to a locally acceptable level as a result of deliberate efforts; continued intervention measures are required to maintain the reduction.

Controlled Access Point

A visually defined entry point through which all traffic (people, animals and equipment) will enter a Controlled Access Zone (CAZ) or a Restricted Access Zone (RAZ).

Controlled Access Zone (CAZ)

The area of land and buildings constituting the animal production area of the premises that is accessible through a securable controlled access point.

Danish Entrance

A barn entrance that includes a barrier and requires clothing and footwear change as well as hand sanitizing to enter the RAZ.

Dead Stock

Animals that die on a farm, either naturally or by euthanization that are disposed of either on-farm or taken off-farm for disposal or rendering. A dead-stock service is a provider that removes dead animals from farms.


Any accumulation of material that may be capable of harbouring disease-causing organisms or pests such as discarded equipment or machinery, manure, dead animals, parts of dead animals or soil.

Disease (infectious)

Clinical and/or pathological manifestation of infection.


The application of a physical or chemical process to a surface for the purpose of destroying or inhibiting the activity of disease-causing microorganisms.


Pertaining to Canada as apart from other countries; native, indigenous.

Down Time

1) For facility:the time between animal groups, starting with a barn or unit area being emptied of animals and ending with the placement of new animals. It allows for the natural reduction of disease-causing microorganisms within the barn or unit area. The effective period can be reduced by cleaning at the beginning of the period.

2) For people: minimum amount of time (often expressed in overnights) required to be away from pig contact before entering other swine premises.

Elimination of Disease

Reduction to zero of the incidence of a specified disease in defined geographical areas or farms as a result of deliberate disease elimination efforts.

Emerging Disease

A new infection resulting from the evolution or change of an existing pathogenic agent, a known infection spreading to a new geographic area or population, or a previously unrecognized pathogenic agent or disease diagnosed for the first time that has a significant impact an animal or public health.

Endemic Disease

A disease regularly present in an animal population.

Enhanced Biosecurity

A period of heightened biosecurity in response to an increased risk of disease (particularly when a disease outbreak is suspected on the premises or identified in the vicinity). This includes increased emphasis on existing biosecurity measures and the implementation of additional biosecurity policies, procedures and processes.


Permanent reduction to zero of the worldwide incidence of infection caused by a specific agent as a result of deliberate efforts; intervention measures are no longer needed.

Essential Visitors

Non farm personnel providing essential services on the premises including veterinarians, service and delivery people, suppliers and regulators.

Exotic Disease

A disease not usually present in Canada but which occurs in other countries. See also Foreign Animal Disease.

Farm or Production Site

A parcel of land including buildings or enclosures used for the production of pigs.


Pertaining to the farm, people, equipment, supplies and services that come into direct contact with the farm.

Feral Pig

Any wild pig including escaped domestic pigs now living in the wild.


Any inanimate object (e.g. shovels) or substance (e.g., soil) on which pathogens may be transferred.


Pertaining to diseases or inputs that are not from within Canada. Not domestic.

Foreign Animal Disease

A reportable disease under Schedule 2 of the Canadian Health of Animals Regulation that does not exist in Canada and for which the CFIA has a strategy; or any other disease which after due consideration is designated as such by the Minister.

Health Status

Knowledge about the presence or absence of specific pathogens in a population of pigs. Normally a «high» health status implies the absence of specifics pathogens, whereas a «low» health status implies the presence of specific pathogens and risk of disease.


A number of single species animals kept together under human control, or a congregation of gregarious wild animals.

Immunization Strategy

A strategy that boosts immunity to a pathogen. It can be commercial vaccination or controlled exposure to biological material.

Infected Animal

An animal that has acquired a pathogen.


Entry and development or multiplication of an infectious agent in the body of humans or animals.


Any animal (including birds) intentionally reared in an agricultural setting for the purposes of profit or subsistence, whether for food, fur fibre, dairy, draft, breeding, sport or hobby purposes, or other product or labour.


A secure fastening device that requires a key, code or key fob to open.


A group of farms, sites or production units linked by common ownership or management structure and pig flow. It typically includes sow unit, nursery and finisher unit.

Non-Essential Visitors

People and their equipment who do not require access to the CAZ and RAZ. These include but are not limited to guests, friends and family.

Notifiable Disease

A disease that is required by law to be reported to regulatory authorities – federal or provincial agencies. Under international policies, the federal animal health authorities may in turn notify international disease reporting organization such as the OIE or WHO.


Pertaining to activities carried out on the farm itself.


Microorganisms capable of causing disease.


Biological agents, such as bacteria, viruses or parasites which have the potential to cause diseases.


Any insect or other animal that may potentially come in contact with farm animals that is undesirable due to risk of disease spread.


Water suitable for human consumption, as per appropriate legislation.


A geographically defined location such as a ranch, farm, stable or other establishment on which swine are raised, kept, assembled or disposed of.

Producer Guidance

Examples and beneficial practices to facilitate achievement of the standard.

Production Site or Production Unit

Premises where live pigs are kept.

Production System

A group of farms, sites or production units linked by common ownership or management structure. A production system may have different compartments, for example, PRRS negative pigs are normally kept separate from PRRS positive barns within the production system.


A code of conduct or defined procedures.


An open area with fences used to contain an animals.

Reportable Disease

A disease that must be immediately reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Clickherefor more information.

Restricted Access Zone (RAZ)

An area inside the CAZ that is used, or intended to be used, to house swine, including semi-confined and range production. Within the RAZ there is potential for direct contact with pigs. Personnel and equipment access is more restricted than the CAZ. The RAZ is sometimes referred to as the Production Area or Restricted Area (RA) in other production documents and guides.

Shower-In-Shower-Out Procedure

A farm entry procedure whereby all people entering the RAZ shower and don farm-dedicated clothing and footwear. The process is reversed upon exiting the RAZ.


A facility defined by the stage of production in multi-site pig production. Typically site 1 refers to the breeding herd, site 2 to the nursery and site 3 to the finishing phase.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Documented procedure based on generally accepted good practices that describes in detail the steps followed to meet an objective (e.g., an SOP that details the barn cleaning and disinfection procedure).


A member of the porcine family – pig, piglet, gilt, barrow, boar, sow, etc.

Target Outcome

The goal that all keepers of swine should aim for if they are to protect their herds from the introduction and spread of porcine diseases.

Uni-Directional Flow

A biosecurity measure whereby flow of pigs and inputs is arranged within a farm or production system such that movements of animals, humans and material are from areas of higher (or potentially higher) health status to locations of lower (or potentially lower) health status. Commonly referred to as pig flow and people flow and may also be called the "walk forward principle".

Unit Area

An area or structure housing an animal group. This may be a single barn for each group. Several animal groups can occupy respective unit areas within a single structure if they are physically separated and biosecurity measures are incorporated between them.


Any living carrier that transports an infectious agent from an infected individual to a susceptible individual, its food or immediate surroundings.


Refers to the confirmation, through the provision of objective evidence, that specified requirements have been fulfilled.


A defined geographical area where natural, artificial or legal boundaries and implementation of biosecurity procedures creates a defined health status.


Any disease or infection which is naturally transmissible from animals to humans.