Whether rolling, playing, running, or walking, horses create messes. Mud and Dirt are just a part of life around the barn. There is a lot of cleaning that needs to be done and people make a living performing these tasks. However, there is more to cleaning than just making something look new and fresh and today cleaning has taken on more importance in the Horse Industry. Protecting the health of the horse by preventing the spread of contagious agents is increasingly important. Horses come in contact with other horses through travel, shows, and events and the opportunity for disease spread is greater than in the past. Increasing business in the import and export of horses also increases the risk of emerging horse diseases from different parts of the world.

To help fight these threats, Biosecurity measures are increasingly in force in a variety of ways. Good biosecurity procedures are not only in place at shows and events, but are also recommended as part of standard barn management operations. Cross Contamination on is a risk shared by all. Cleaning is a necessary task for horses, blankets, tack, tack rooms, stables, and trailers in order to minimize the spread of germs. For example, Strangles (Streptococcus equi) is highly contagious and can be spread through contact with contaminated equipment (rakes, pitchforks, buckets), tack, and even walls of the stable. Roberta M. Dwyer, DVM, MS, of the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center suggests an option for improving an existing horse stall is to thoroughly clean walls, patch knots with wood filler, and seal walls with a varnish or polyurethane. The result is a smooth, waterproof surface that can be cleaned and disinfected easily.

Nor is the only concern the illness or infection of the horse. Some diseases can be transferred from horses to humans, such as: Salmonellas (most likely through contact with horse manure or equipment contaminated with manure), Ringworm ( transmitted from horse or contaminated equipment), Anthrax, Rain Rot, and other diseases.

Equine BioSecurity Procedures and Practices always include cleaning and disinfecting horses, tack and equipment, horse trailers, barns and people in contact with horses. More information on BioSecurity Procedures can be found at in these publications:

Biosecurity Procedure from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP)

The Key To Keeping Your Horses Healthy published through the USDA

Biosecurity for Horseowners-Info Sheet, Equine Guelph, University of Guelph, Ontario

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