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Assessment of biosecurity status in dairy cow farms

Abstract

Background

Biosecurity plays an irreplaceable role in preventing diseases, increasing productivity of dairy herd and welfare on the farm, prevention of drug resistance and public health safety. Assessment of biosecurity measures were carried out both by observations and questionnaires from December 2019 to April 2020 in dairy cows’ farms. In addition to assessment of biosecurity, the present study also intended to identify factor associated to biosecurity and its specific component implementation.

Results

Out of 125 biosecurity practices considered to evaluate the overall biosecurity status of dairy farms, the scores ranged from 34 to 75. The overall percentage of the biosecurity score varied from 27.2 to 60%. Out of 20 dairy farms included in the present study, nine farms gained a percentage score of greater than or equal to 50% (ranging from 50.4 to 60%), thus their biosecurity status was evaluated as “Good”. The remaining 11 farms attained a percentage score lower than 50% (varying from 27.2 to 46.4%) and therefore graded as “Poor”. In this study biosecurity categorized in to four components: traffic control (21.5 ± 4.3), isolation (14.45 ± 2.2), sanitation (16.65 ± 6.83) and health management (3.25 ± 1.07) with their respective mean ± standard deviation of each component. Out of four biosecurity components: isolation and traffic control were implemented better, but sanitation and animal health management were poorly implemented. Fisher’s exact test analysis of the obtained results showed that among all factors assumed to affect biosecurity adoption, however only a significant association (P < 0.05) between biosecurity status and location of farms was appreciated.

Conclusions

In conclusion, the overall adoption of biosecurity measures in the dairy farms was evaluated to be poor. Thus, raising awareness of herd owners, facilitating dairy husbandry training by the concerned body, pushing herd owners to develop a biosecurity plan and practicing it. And, especially improvement of sanitation and animal health management systems should be prioritized by policy makers or the concerned organizations.

Background

Ethiopia is endowed with the largest livestock population in Africa (CSA 2013; Belay 2020) and the sector contributes 17% to the gross domestic product (GDP), 36% to the agricultural GDP (Metaferia et al. 2011; Belay 2020), and provides a livelihood for 65% of the population. The cattle population of Ethiopia is estimated at 57.83 million head, of which 55.48% are females, and 98.66% are of traditional Zebu breed (CSA 2016; Belay 2020). In addition, Ethiopia has a large dairy herd (around 14 million) and high diversity of agro-ecologies, many of which are favorable for dairying (Ndambi et al. 2017). Dairy cattle production is the main component of livestock farming in Ethiopia and there are four major dairy production systems, namely specialized commercial dairy production systems, pastoral and agro-pastoral production, rural smallholder (mixed crop-livestock) production and urban and peri-urban smallholder dairy production (Afras 2019).

Ethiopia is expected to double the number of middle class consumers by the year 2030, due to the growth in the middle class population and increased urbanization, which lead to an increased purchasing power and hence higher demand for livestock products including milk (Ndambi et al. 2017). However, the productivity of the dairy industry is constrained by diseases (Ahmed 2018), specially, in urban areas; shortage of land, shortage of feed and/or high feed prices, and manure related waste management, water scarcity, shortage of labour and animal disease prevalence were the common constraints to dairy production (Ndambi et al. 2017).

Diseases have many negative impacts on production and productivity of dairy cattle, imposing significant economic losses resulting from mortality, morbidity, loss of weight, poor growth rate, and poor fertility (Belay 2020). Weak enforcement of hygiene and safety regulations adulterated, and poor-quality milk can be found in the markets (Ndambi et al. 2017). Biosecurity, defined as a set of management practices or measures to prevent introduction and spread of pathogens within and between farms (Gunn et al. 2008; Fasina et al. 2012), has been reported to be the cheapest way to control diseases in flocks or herds (Kouam and Moussala 2018). It is important in avoiding not only catastrophic or foreign animal diseases, but also in reducing the risks of endemic diseases, like; digital dermatitis, paratuberculosis (Johnes' disease), contagious mastitis and enzootic bovine leukosis (Bickett-Weddle and Ramirez 2005; Stankovic and Zlatanovi 2016).

Biosecurity in this context is the management systems implemented to reduce the risk of introducing infectious disease to a herd and prevention of diseases spread within the herd (Caldow 2004), preventing economic losses and protection of public health. Information about the biosecurity level on the farms is important for contingency planning for emerging diseases, when combating endemic diseases in a country, or to see if and where the biosecurity needs to be improved (Sahlström et al. 2014). The observation of a gap between biosecurity recommendations and on-farm practices have been documented (Moore et al. 2008). On-farm biosecurity measures are implemented differently depending on the farm (Sahlström et al. 2014). Research suggests that uptake of biosecurity measures on dairy farms is low with certain practices being rarely carried out (Sayer et al. 2013).

Research in the UK and Ireland suggests low uptake of biosecurity practices, even though dairy farmers consider biosecurity as important (Brennan and Christley 2013). Other studies also examined the implementation of biosecurity on a variety of farming enterprises, the majority highlighted that awareness of biosecurity may exist but its implementation at farm level is often poor (Mee et al. 2012). Thus, inadequate attention to the implementation of biosecurity in such circumstances could have a significant negative impact on animal health which causes economic loss (van Schaik et al. 1998), poor animals and risk to public health. Thus, it is crucial for dairy farmers to understand the importance of disease prevention through implementation of on-farm biosecurity.

There are few published reports on the assessment of dairy biosecurity measures in livestock production in Ethiopia. However, to mention some of them, biosecurity assessment was undertaken in central cattle feedlot in Ethiopia (Alemayehu and Leta 2014) and in small scale commercial poultry farms Birhanu et al. (2015) in and around Mekelle and by Melkamu et al. (2016) in and around Debre Markos. These studies reported a poor implementation of biosecurity measures by the farmers, along with the different constraints and challenges expressed by the farmers such as cost, usefulness, importance, workload and lack of clarity and knowledge. To date, there is no information on basic biosecurity measures that are undertaken to maintain the health of cattle in commercial dairy farms established in and around Harar and Dire Dawa cities (Fig. 1). Thus, the present study aims to facilitate the adoption, and awareness of the key areas of Biosecurity that need improvement.

Fig. 1
figure 1

Map of study area depicting Harar region and Dire Dawa city council

Therefore, the objectives of this study are;

  • To assess the biosecurity status of commercial dairy farms located in and around Dire Dawa and Harar cities.

  • To identify factors associated with generally assessed biosecurity status.

  • To appreciate specific (individual) biosecurity status.

Methods

Study area

This study was carried out in medium to small scale dairy cow’s farm found in and around Dire Dawa and Harar cities (Fig. 1). Dire Dawa city is located at about 515 km to the east of Addis Ababa. The area is found between 9° 27′ and 9° 49′ N latitude and 41° 38′ and 42° 19′ E longitude. The total area of the administration is 128,802 ha. Dire Dawa is situated at an altitude of 1276 m above sea level. The mean annual rainfall of the area varies from 550 mm in the lowland northern part to 850 mm in the southern mountains with average 640 mm. The monthly mean minimum and maximum temperature ranges from 14.5 to 34.6 °C respectively (CSA 2012). Harar, a walled city in eastern Ethiopia, is a regional city for the Harari region and a zonal capital for the East Hararghe zone of Oromia region. The city has an estimated population of 232,000 for the year 2015 (Mengistu et al. 2016). It is located at about 525 km from Addis Ababa situated at an elevation of 1885 m.a.s.l. These two cities are places where privately owned commercial dairy farms were located and the major milk consumption centers in eastern Ethiopia. In addition to these modern dairy farms, the wider surrounding rural districts are other sources for milk and milk products supply (CSA 2013; Mengistu et al. 2016).

Target and study population

For this study, the target population are all commercial dairy farms established in and around Harar and Dire Dawa cites (Fig. 1). Farms having more than ten cattle were taken as the study population. Generally, there are 32 medium to large scale producing dairy farms within the study areas, which are acquired from offices of livestock and fisheries development offices and from other concerned offices. Of 32 herd owners contacted, 6 of them had already closed their dairy business and the remaining 6 dairy owners refused to participate. Therefore, 81.25% agreed to participate in this study. Therefore, 20 dairy herd owners/managers were interviewed, both by observations using a checklist and semi-structured questionnaire.

Study design and study methodology

The study was a cross-sectional survey carried out from December 2019 to April 2020, which involved collection of information from all dairy farms established in and around Dire Dawa and Harar cities (Fig. 1), containing more than ten cattle (medium to large scale population) as categorization by (Megersa et al. 2011). Therefore, it did not require sampling. At first, all dairy farms were identified using the official registry of dairy farms obtained from the respective Agricultural offices and located with the help of local veterinary health officials until all farms were included. Then, farm owners requested to participate in the study and the required information was gathered after obtaining their verbal consent. The number of those dairy owners who refused to participate was also documented.

Data collection

A questionnaire-based survey was undertaken to evaluate the status of the different components of biosecurity measures practiced. Information about biosecurity was obtained through on -farm observations using a structured-questionnaire by checklists and interviews made with owners and workers. The questionnaire contained 125 questions, mainly closed and semi-closed (Additional file 2). It was divided into four sections. The first question set consisted of demography characteristics of farm owners (sex, age, marital status, occupation, level of education, experience (years), previous training on dairy farm management, being member of a dairy farm cooperative and knowledge of biosecurity among others). The second part was related to awareness on disease control and biosecurity such as owners' understanding of cattle diseases, awareness on biosecurity, source of biosecurity information, and importance of biosecurity and presence of biosecurity plan. The third section was farm characteristics such as farm location, year of establishment, farm size (m2), presence of buildings in the farm, presence of cattle barn(s), number of cattle (herd size) and breed of cattle. The last section was on components of biosecurity measures such as isolation, traffic control, sanitation as defined by (FAO 2010; Kouam et al. 2018) and Nitovski et al. (2013) and animal health management (Nitovski et al. 2013) which was developed to collect data on biosecurity practices. To ensure validity and reduce bias, interviews and farm observation were carried out by one person.

Biosecurity scoring system and biosecurity status

The Biosecurity measures were divided into four sections, each section corresponding to a biosecurity component (isolation, traffic control, and sanitation and animal health management). Biosecurity was quantified using a scoring system based on the assumption that all the potential biosecurity measures to have an equal weight and scoring each measure as either 1 or 0 as in Kouam et al. (2018). The biosecurity measure was coded as 1 if this measure is present or 0 if the measure is absent. The answers to all 125 dichotomous questions or findings of observations were converted into a score of 0 and 1. The maximum score for a given farm was 125 points (40 for isolation, 27 for traffic control, 46 for sanitation and 12 for animal health management) equaling the total biosecurity measures under investigation. A total of 125 marks were allocated to the biosecurity indicators in the questionnaire and checklist. The cattle farms were categorized based on biosecurity status as per the methodology described by (Wijesinghe et al. 2017) with slight modification. The total score earned by each farm was changed to percentage and if it is above or equal to 50% a farm was said to have as “Good biosecurity” and below 50% as “Poor biosecurity”.

Data analysis

The data collected were stored in Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet and analyzed using StataCorp statistical software version 15. Data were analyzed, using descriptive statistics to calculate frequencies and percentages. The association of respondents’ demographic as well as farm characteristics with biosecurity compliance was evaluated using Fisher’s exact test statistics and a statistically significant association was said to exist when P < 0.05.

Results

Farm characteristics

From all dairy farms located in and around Harar and Dire Dawa cities, majority of dairy farms were established above the years 2016 whereas some of them were established from 2007 to 2016. Again, all farms, established on areas lower than 5001 m2 in size. Some cattle farms (7 that are 35%) were established on areas of less than 1000 m2 while the other 12 (60%) had sizes between 2001 and 5000 m2. All farms had buildings in the farm, however, 5 (25%) described that there were no cattle barns. Majority (65%) of dairy farms comprised less than 100 dairy cows and 65% of cattle were Holstein Friesians breed (Table 1). The range, mean, median of dairy cows in the overall study is 16–150, 79.4 and 88.5 respectively.

Table 1 Characteristics of dairy farms established in and around Harar and Dire Dawa cities

Herd owners awareness on disease control and biosecurity

From 20 dairy herd owners interviewed, 80% disclosed that they had knowledge of cattle disease whereas 20% disclosed that they had not. With regard to disease control, all of the respondents replied that prevention of diseases was the cheapest method and 85% of them said prevention was less time consuming (Table 2).

Table 2 The percentage of cattle owners aware of cattle disease control and biosecurity

Demographic characteristics of dairy Herd Owners

From these 20 interviewed participants, 14 (70%) were male, 12 (60%) older than 45 years, 17 (85%) married, and 15 (75%) had higher education status. Occupationally, 15% were civil servants, 30% were traders and 55% had occupations other than the two (artesian). Majority (60%) of the herd owners had experience of one to ten years while 40% of them had more than ten years of experience in dairy farming. 85% of the owners were not trained on farm management, only 5% were members of dairy cooperatives and 35% claimed to be aware of biosecurity (Table 3).

Table 3 The demographic characteristics dairy farm owners

Component specific biosecurity status

Tables 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 presents, assessment results of various components of biosecurity. A total of 32 biosecurity practices were included to assess traffic control biosecurity status (Table 4). The biosecurity score ranged from 10 to 18 out of 32 and the percentage varied from 32.5 to 57.5%. Mostly applied traffic biosecurity components (100%), were;—no vehicles frequently move off property, go to property, sale yard, abattoir or show and then return, no equipment used for different purposes, no sharing of equipment and machinery with other farms, no more than one main entry point to the farm, locating animal loading areas away from the rest of the stock, not grazing resting pastures recently spread with waste, when loading animals the lorry or truck didn’t enter the stables. From traffic control biosecurity, 'Nine (45%) farms attained a good biosecurity score whereas 11 (55%) were poor' (Table 8).

Table 4 Percentage of biosecurity practices of the traffic control component
Table 5 Percentage of isolation biosecurity practices component
Table 6 Percentage practices of sanitation biosecurity component
Table 7 Percentage practices of the animal health management biosecurity components
Table 8 Component specific biosecurity score, percentage and level implemented by dairy farms

Regarding the isolation, 27 biosecurity practices were used to evaluate biosecurity level. As presented in Table 5, the biosecurity score and percentage of isolation varied from 11 to 24 and 40.7–88.84%, respectively. Majority of dairy farms (17) gained a “Good” and the remaining three are “Poor” status. Frequently applied isolation biosecurity measures such, as no pasture area, fence off dead-animal pits and garbage tips, fencing off stock access to water courses, maintain no contact of pre-weaned calves with older cattle, maintain no contact of dry cow with lactating cows, no mixing of different species, separate calves and young stock from older animals.

Concerning sanitation practices, 46 biosecurity practices were chosen and evaluated (Table 6). Regarding sanitation biosecurity practices, its score and percentage extended from 3 to 25, and 6.5–54.3%. The sanitation level was “Good” for five farms and “Poor” for 15 farms.

From biosecurity practices were considered for the evaluation of animal health management. The biosecurity score ranged from 1 to 5 and the percentage ranged from 8.3 to 41.7%. The adoption level was assessed as “Poor” for all dairy farms included in the study (Table 7).

Overall, 125 biosecurity practices were considered to evaluate the general biosecurity status. The percentage of the biosecurity score varied from 27.2 to 60%. Nine farms gained a percentage of score greater than or equal to 50% (ranging from 50.4 to 60%), thus their biosecurity compliance was evaluated as “Good”. The remaining 11 farms attained a percentage score lower than 50% (varying from 27.2 to 46.4%) and therefore graded as “Poor” (Table 9).

Table 9 Summary of general biosecurity score, percentage and Implementation status of dairy herd owners in and around Harar and Dire Dawa cities

Factors associated with overall biosecurity measures

Several demographics as well as farm characteristics were assessed for their association with the overall biosecurity level using Fisher’s exact test. Among those characteristics, only location of the farm (Fisher’s exact value = 9.90; P < 0.005) was significantly associated with the overall level of biosecurity measure (Table 10). From ten dairy farms located in Harar city, only one (10%) was evaluated to have “Good” biosecurity level. On the other hand, from ten study dairy cow farms in Dire Dawa city, eight (80%) were assessed to have “Good” biosecurity.

Table 10 Assessment of association between respondent’s socio-demographic and farm characteristics with general biosecurity status

Discussion

In the present study, a relatively small sample size was used. One of the important reasons is that checklists were completed by the researchers on each farm based on observations, instead of sending a questionnaire to the farms. Again, the believe that more reliable data concerning biosecurity could be obtained by conducting farm visits, which requires more time and resources compared to sending the questionnaires by mail. Moreover, it is not always easy to obtain producers’ permission to visit their farms. Although, this study provides important information on the demographic characteristics of dairy herd owners, farm characteristics, and awareness on dairy farms disease control, implementation of biosecurity measures from medium-scale to large-scale dairy farms were found poor thus larger and more comprehensive studies are needed for Ethiopia dairy farm regarding its biosecurity measure. In this study, biosecurity categorized in to four components: traffic control, isolation, sanitation and health management. Out of four biosecurity components: isolation and traffic control were implemented better, but sanitation and animal health management were poorly implemented.

Herd owners awareness on disease control and biosecurity

In the present study, only 15% of the participants disclosed veterinarians as their sources of information on biosecurity in contrast to Gunn et al. (2008) and Derks et al. (2012) that reported veterinarians have been identified as one of the most important, reliable and credible sources of information for farmers on biosecurity.

Demographic characteristics of the farm

Among 20 dairy cattle farmers in Harar and Dire Dawa, the majority believed that biosecurity (prevention) was more cost-effective (cheapest method) (100%, n = 20) and more time-efficient (Less time consuming) (85%, n = 17) than treating individuals disease on-farm, which are the same or even more implemented as reported by Collineau and Stärk (2019). Some farmers (45%, n = 9) also believed that benefits (verily important) could be attained by implementing even a small number (45% or medium) of biosecurity measures (Brennan and Christley 2013; Collineau and Stärk 2019).

This study revealed, the majority are not aware of biosecurity which is in contrast to (Mee et al. 2012) that the majority aware of biosecurity and again, among 35% of herd owners informed about biosecurity measures, 15% got biosecurity information from veterinarians, (10%) from internet and (10%) were professional. Thus in this study, only 15% participants got information channels about biosecurity from veterinarian in contrast reported by (Brennan and Christley 2013; Collineau and Stärk 2019) that information channels regarding biosecurity measures were obtained primarily from private veterinarians 93%, and unlike the present studies(10%), research papers/professional press share as 77% as channel of information to biosecurity (Brennan and Christley 2013; Collineau and Stärk 2019). In this study, the majority highlighted that awareness of biosecurity does not exist as well as its implementation at farm level was also poor which are the same reported by (Mee et al. 2012).

Among highly implemented biosecurity practices in the present study (> 90%) are:-no vehicles frequently move off property, go to property, sale yard, abattoir or show and then return, no equipment used for different purposes and no sharing of equipment and machinery with other farms which is different with Brennan et al. (2008) that reported almost half of the farmers shared equipment with other farms. In the present study, having an implementation of insect or rodent control plan was 15 (75%) which was more implemented than (Can and Altuğ 2014), that reported (46%) and (Renault et al. 2017), that reported around 65% of insect or rodent control plan. Among participant of the present study dairy herd owners, 9 (45%) closing gates and seeing visitors by appointment, which implemented less than (Damiaans et al. 2019), that reported (65%) access to the stables was controlled by a closing gate and a requirement for visitors to announce themselves before entering.

Component specific biosecurity status

Traffic control biosecurity was found the second mostly implemented by status as there were 11-participant “poor” status and 9 participants received “good” status. All the participants (100%) do not share equipment and machinery with other farms and do not allow vehicles to frequently move off property, go to property, sale yard, abattoir or show and then return, implemented more as (Renault et al. 2017). The average traffic control biosecurity score (measures to prevent pathogens from entering a herd was 14.45 (range, 10–18) (Table 8), which is in contrast to (Laanen et al. 2013), that reports average 65 (range, 45–89).

From isolation biosecurity components, 11 (55%) implemented isolation of sick animals in contrast to Damiaans et al. (2019) that reported none of the farmers isolates sick animals. Thus, according to the present study, only 45% of farmers would have a chance of direct and indirect contact to the herd unlike 100% by Damiaans et al. (2019). Practices of purchasing of replacement animals from a herd with known health status was 60% in this study but the studies reported by Damiaans et al. (2019) was implementing only 20% of purchasing of replacement animals from a herd with known health status. In the present study, 40% of herd owners quarantined or tested new animal additions to their farm in contrast to USDA that reported only 20% of herd owner implement quarantine or test of new animal addition. In the present study average internal biosecurity score/isolation (measures to reduce the within-herd spread of pathogens) was 21.5 (range, 13–28) which is different from (Laanen et al. 2013) that reported an average 52 (range, 18–87). Of producers of dairy farming, 12 (60%) introduced new animals directly into the herd without prior isolation which was approximately the same reported by Noremark et al. (2010). In these studies, dairy farmers do not have a written plan for implementation of biosecurity measures which was the same reported by Milanovic (2019). Isolation component of biosecurity was recorded of all biosecurity for its better implementation as there were only three farms found with “Poor” status and the other 17 participants were “Good” by status. From ten dairy farms located in Harar city, only one (10%) was evaluated to have “Good” biosecurity. On the other hand, from ten study dairy farms of Dire Dawa town, eight (80%) were evaluated to have “Good” biosecurity.

In the present study, none of the producers provided protective clothing for visitors, which was less than (Can and Altuğ 2014) that reported, 32% and 40% by Noremark et al. (2010). Among professional visitors, who wear or dress in herd-specific protective clothing was only 5%, which was the same reported by Damiaans et al. (2019). Regarding sanitation, only 5 of them got “good” and 15 of them got “poor” status. Thus, sanitation was the second least implemented biosecurity component. Vaccination of cattle before being introduced into the herd performed by 7 (35%) farms and 13 (65%) are not and again most farmers implement routine vaccination of cattle 16 (80%) which was contrary to veal farms (Damiaans et al. 2019) that reported below this value. The health management was the least implemented of all biosecurity components due to all farms being found “Poor “by status. In this study there was nothing found regarding the impacts of education in implementation of biosecurity. However, other studies reported the important role of education in ensuring biosecurity practices (Moore et al. 2008; Wolff et al. 2017; Robertson 2019). Despite low uptake of biosecurity practices, in this study dairy farmers consider biosecurity as important, which was also reported by Brennan and Christley (2013).

Factors associated with overall biosecurity measures

Education improves the ability of searching and processing information leading to a tendency of adopting improved dairy technologies (Mengistu et al. 2016) and affecting the implementation of innovation (Kouam et al. 2018). In this line, a lot has to be done to motivate herd owners to improve the educational status to enable them to make an informed farm decision (Mengistu et al. 2016). In the present studies, 75% of dairy owners have a higher education completed which was more practical than 26.67% of (Lestari et al. 2019) and that of (Mengistu et al. 2016), that reported 28% of the producers were educated. However, in this study education and herd size was not found to affect the level of biosecurity adoption unlike (Lestari et al. 2019), who claimed education and herd sizes affect biosecurity adoption. Again, in other studies, herd size is often correlated with the biosecurity score (Can and Altuğ 2014; Laanen et al. 2013). Reference Musaba (2010), stated that adoption of biosecurity measures was impacted by training, but in this study, biosecurity was not impacted by training.

The significant association of location with biosecurity of studies areas, significantly associated with the level of biosecurity measure, could be due to culture, climate and variation in the training and technical support between regions, which are the same to Sayers et al. (2013).

Conclusions

Although the present study, provides important information on the socio-demographic characteristics of farm owners, farm characteristics, awareness on disease control and biosecurity aspects in dairy farms, only location of studies areas was found to have significant association with general biosecurity status or level. Again, there are a component of biosecurity, that used to evaluate general biosecurity status which are isolation, traffic control, sanitation and animal health management with respective implementation status. This study showed, majority of biosecurity indicators were not being implemented except isolation components. No training has been provided to the farmers by the concerned government’s body, no cooperation found on dairy farming by dairy farmers. Thus, more studies that are comprehensive would be needed for the future, especially; those of concerned government bodies should be included for investigation of the reason for poor biosecurity status. Most of animal health management and sanitation biosecurity, are poorly implemented.

Thus, based on the above conclusion the following recommendations are forwarded.

  • Thus, raising awareness of dairy farm owners on the importance of biosecurity on their farms and its significance in disease prevention and economic productivity.

  • Frequent delivery of capacity building training to dairy farmers to develop their own biosecurity plan and policy driven advocacy for the proper implementation of the biosecurity measures implementation at farmers and country level.

  • Specially, isolation and animal health management biosecurity component practiced in dairy cow farms should be improved and followed by concerned regulatory body.

  • An update training programs should be arranged regarding biosecurity to change the attitudes and perception of producers concerning biosecurity practices.

  • In order to encourage producers to increase biosecurity implementation, regulations regarding financial support and penalties could be quite useful both at the regional and national levels.

Availability of data and materials

All data generated or analyzed during this study is included in this published article.

Abbreviations

BRM:

Biosecurity risk management

BP:

Biosecurity practices

CFIA:

Canadian food inspection agency

CSA:

Central statistical agency

DVM:

Doctor of veterinary medicine

FAD:

Foreign animal diseases

FAO:

Food and Agriculture Organization

OIE:

Office of Interracial des Epizooties (World Organization for Animal Health)

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Acknowledgements

My wife Nejuma Abduljalil and my family were by my side during this long journey and always supported me with great encouragement. Importantly, they also made sure I never forgot to take a break from writing when I needed to have some fun. My brother Ferid Husen provided invaluable advice and consistent encouragement, as well as insightful psychological and financial assistance. In the final stretch, my parents always kept me moving forward and set me on this journey early in my life, although I did not know it then. Again, my friends Munir Shemsan and My brother Ahmed Husen helped me in ways too numerous to mention. Many other family members including Tinir Husen and Demri Husen, provided me much needed encouragement as well. My advisor Dr. Shihun Shimelis and Dr. Bamlaku Andargie have been an amazing teachers and mentors to me as well, and I am extremely grateful for their support and guidance. Their ongoing feedback, support, and guidance brought me competitive in the center of excellence. Finally, I want to thank all those people who, once upon a time, were my teachers and who helped me begin this long journey. Their names were too numerous to mention, but many of them inspired me to continue learning and sharing with others.

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Conceptualization: MH and SS. Data curation: MH and HY. Formal Data analysis: MH and SS. Methodology: MH and SS. Supervision: BA and SS. Writing-Original draft: MH. Writing-Reviewer and Editorial: MH, SS and MY. All authors have read and approved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mohammedsham Husen Harun.

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Supplementary Information

Additional file 1.

Questionnaire and Checklists for Boisecurity.

Additional file 2.

spreadsheet for coded biosecurity reference data.

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Harun, M.H., Shimelis, S., Andargie, B. et al. Assessment of biosecurity status in dairy cow farms. Bull Natl Res Cent 46, 152 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42269-022-00836-7

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Keywords

  • Biosecurity
  • Dairy farm
  • Preventive medicine
  • Sanitation
  • Isolation
  • Traffic control