1. Introduction

1.1 Canadian Swine Health Board and Biosecurity

One pillar of improving swine health in Canada is to improve the biosecurity of the national pig herd. The definition of biosecurity for the User Guide's purpose is putting into practice rules and processes to reduce the risk of introducing and spreading disease agents (pathogens). The primary concern will be with external biosecurity; that is, keeping disease agents out and keeping them from getting out into other farms. Internal biosecurity, that is, containing the spread of disease within the farm or system, is discussed to a lesser degree.

1.2 The Biosecurity Standards

The Biosecurity Committee developed standards to be applied voluntarily which, when achieved, will reduce the risk of disease entry in each area described. These standards are outcomes that your farm(s) should achieve through the application of proper measures specific to your farm (Best Management Practices or BMP's). One example would be, "Establish a system to be sure that incoming pigs, semen or embryos are not carrying diseases to your farm". An explanation of each standard can be found in the National Swine Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard.

1.3 General Principles Used

While considering the major contamination routes by which pathogens can enter a farm or farm system, Best Management Practices were developed based on three general principles:

1.3.1 Segregation – creating barriers to limit contact between infected animals or contaminated materials and the uninfected site.

1.3.2 Sanitation – washing, disinfecting and drying to remove and inactivate remaining pathogens.

1.3.3 Flow management – organizing the movement of pigs, people and materials from less contaminated to the more contaminated areas, compartments or sites.


The final step is to document the application of the BMP's through a written verification step. In addition to verifying, the record can be used for training and a validation process if one is used.

Compartmentalization: Where multiple sites are linked through a common health status (a multi-site system, for example), a system wide biosecurity plan is needed. The process of developing a strategy for the system is called compartmentalization.