Farm bio-security is all about protecting people, animals, plants, and environment from pests and diseases. It includes trying to prevent new pests and diseases from spreading into the farm, and helping to control outbreaks too when it occurs on the farm. While robust response arrangements may be available at the state government levels to combat outbreaks, preventing pest, diseases and weed incursions into the farms generally, your farm bio-safety is a call to duty. Everybody associated with you farm need to know the – Particulars of Your Farm Bio-Safety – . Very farm protective measures to prevent spread of diseases should remain a farm priority.


How you can protect your animals and plants from pests and diseases

Promotion of biosecurity at the farm level is enhanced through (a) the broad awareness engagement of all the community members,(b) understanding the disease and or pest vulnerability,  (c) the source and nature of threats, (d) knowledge of the skills base and who to call in difficult times(e) Inventory of the resources (f) available commitment from stakeholders to implement biosecurity measures, surveillance and reporting. (g) Reporting of unusual health occurrences by calling the your extension agent or your veterinarian

Implementation of farm biosecurity underpins community biosecurity, which in turn underpins national biosecurity. If on-farm measures are supported by community based measures, a coordinated regional framework for biosecurity can be achieved.



Common Vaccines used in Nigerian livestock production

The National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom is responsible for the production of vaccines against livestock diseases in Nigeria. The disease for which vaccines are available in Nigeria are:


(i)             Contagious Bovine Pleuroneumonia(CBPP)


(ii)           Rinderpest


(iii)          Haemorrhagic Septiceamia(HS)


(iv)          Blackquater(BQ)


(v)            Anthrax


(vi)          Brucellocesis



Vaccine Handling


Vaccines are delicate biological commodity and can be a source of danger either to the farm workers or even to the animals when it is poor handled.  It is supposed to be handled by skill workers that know how to manage the particular vaccine. The proper handling of vaccine plays a major role in the success of all vaccination programme. The procedures involved include:


(i)        Maintenance and handling of Vaccine cold Chain


A practical method of maintaining a cold chain involves the use of thermo-flasks with ice pack. The flasks are packed with ice and the vaccines stocked into a Santana leather is inserted and covered again with more ice. It is advisable to cover the ice with cotton wool before sealing the flask. The thermo-flask so properly packed and sealed can maintain temperature of 4oC for about 72 hours.


The maintenance of cold chain is very necessary because higher temperatures will completely denature the vaccine thereby inhibiting their ability to illicit any antibody production to confer immunity against the disease. It is also important that you veterinarian teach everybody working on the farm to know how to identify vaccines that the cold chain has been broken before it is used on the farm.  This can be done by a five (5) minute video documentary on Vaccine Cold Chain Handling.


(ii)       Vaccination


Before commencing a vaccination in a farm, the herd health status prior to the current vaccination regime should be established and documented. A proper medical and management history is required to establish the reasons for vaccination request, date of last vaccination, types of vaccines administered before and the incidence of any infectious disease in the locality. The animals should be clinically inspected and examined to eliminate the risks of vaccinating unhealthy animals.

It is equally important to observe the protocols stated above to avoid the vaccination of animals already vaccinated against a particular disease condition before the elapse of the duration of immunity. The vaccination of animals already infected by the disease for which the vaccination request was made will also be avoided. Animals should only be vaccinated after you are convinced of the – herd health status – . Vaccination of infected animals will further aggravate the disease condition so it is necessary to treat all infected animals before vaccination.


(ii)       Observation of Vaccine Recommendation

Note that vaccination of animals is the exclusive preserve of the train veterinarians or animal health workers. Vaccines are biological which must be handled with extreme care especially during reconstitution as some of the livestock diseases for which the vaccines are made are transmissible to human (zoonotic).The skilled worker administering the vaccines must observe proper vaccine reconstitution, dose, route ofvaccine administration, the expiry date and the vaccine preservation recommendations.


The most convenient diluent is normal saline solution. The underlined procedures would aid in diluent preparation:


–   Obtain amber colored bottle used to package 100mls of oxytetracycline


–   Remove the seal, wash thoroughly and allow to dry


–   Obtain normal saline drip from your local chemist and measure out 100mls into the bottle


–   In remote locations, boiled clean water for about 30 minutes and allow to cool before you measure out 100ml into each bottle.


–   Seal the bottle using the stopper and tape to prevent stopper from coming off.


Identification of Vaccinated Animals

During vaccination, a herd that is not properly restrained may cause chaos and mixed up of vaccinated and unvaccinated animals. It can be very challenging. The following methods are recommended for tracking animals during vaccination.


(i)             Ear notching – this is a historical method of identifying vaccinated livestock here in Nigeria. It involves the use of an ear notch to identify vaccinated animals. It is a simple method of identifying individual animals. Its disadvantages include distraction of the animal appearance causes bleeding and if not properly treated with iodine or other antiseptics may lead to infection and fly bite during the fly season.


(ii)           Vaccination Certificate – Currently every herd vaccinated should be given vaccination certificate indicating the type of vaccine administered, the date of administration, the herd owners name and address. The vaccine batch number and the name of the establishment involved in the vaccination exercises. The drawback is the inability of individual animals to be identified.



Latent Period before Immunity

The latent period is the period within which the animal vaccinated is immunized. For most vaccine it is 2 weeks. It is advisable to instruct herd owners to restrict movement of cattle for at least 2 weeks post vaccination to allow the immune status of the animal to become developed



Problem Encountered After Vaccination

It is worthy to note that some of the problems encountered after vaccination arose due partly to non-adherence to the laid down vaccination protocols.


(i)             Vaccine Failure – this is the inability of a vaccine to illicit immune response following vaccination thereby making the animals susceptible to attack by the agent the vaccine is supposed to confer immunity against. Vaccine failure may be due to the improper maintenance of the cold chin, use of expires vaccines, exposure of vaccine to sunlight and improper vaccine reconstitution.


(ii)           Post Vaccination Reaction – this is an adverse tissue reaction observed following improper administration of CBPP vaccine for example. It is the inflammation of tissue and is manifested by swellings (usually firm) at the site of injection. It occurs when the vaccine is deposited inside the skin or inside the muscle tissues rather than under the skin.


(iii)          Vaccine Break – this is an undesirable effect in which the vaccine produces the disease it is supposed to confer immunity against. This is usually a manufacturer – s error due to improper vaccine production error. When it occur, it is important to note the batch numbers of the vaccine, so that the vaccine may be investigated in the case of vaccine breaks. Also note that vaccination of sick animals will also present as vaccine break and will further aggravate the disease condition so it is necessary to treat all infected animals before vaccination.