Biosecurity Risk Calculator

Answer all questions in each category to complete the Biosecurity Risk Calculator. When you have completed a category, click on the next category to open it. You must answer all questions in a category before moving on, but you can return to a previous category at any time. Biosecurity facts for each category are shown to the right of the calculator.

General Facility

horse in pasture

How many horses spend the majority of their time living on the facility?

What best describes the horse facility?

What best describes the use for the majority of horses on the facility?

What best describes the situation on your facility?

If not turned out in groups, do horses on the facility have the possibility of at least weekly nose-to nose contact with one another (e.g. pastures or runs directly next to each other)?

How are the horses grouped together?

Housing Materials

clean stall

What kind of flooring is in the majority of the stalls?

What kind of walls is in the majority of the stalls?

Movement of Resident Horses

horse in trailer

In the previous 12 months, where have the horses from this facility traveled?

On average, how many resident horses are transported on and off the facility per month where they will have contact with other horses? Please check the answer that best describes the horse movement.

Do you know the health status of all non-resident horses that your resident horses encounter?

What types of horse contact occur on an average trip off of the resident facility?

New Horses

horse whinneys

On average, how many new horses (for training/shows, new boarders, breeding etc.) enter/visit the facility each year? Please check the choice that best describes new horse entry.

During a typical year, where would new horses come from?

What happens when a new horse arrives on the facility?

What testing is required for newly arriving horses? Check all that apply.

What testing is required for newly arriving horses?

Vaccination / Deworming

horse and vet

This category of the survey is designed for facilities in North America. If your facility is located outside of North America, your score may not reflect the adequacy of your vaccination program since the vaccination program needs to be tailored to the diseases in a given region and likely exposure levels. All other categories will provide you with accurate results regardless of where your facility is located.

On what continent is your facility located?

Where do you get information on vaccines?

To the best of your knowledge, which of the following vaccines are used on the majority (more than 50%) of the horses at the facility? Check all that apply.

Do you keep records on individual horses that include entry of veterinary care provided and vaccination status?

When giving vaccines or drugs to horses by injection do you always, sometimes or never use a new needle and syringe for the injection?

How do you dispose of sharps (needles, vaccine applicators) after use?

What are the deworming requirements for resident horses on the facility??

Movement of People On and Off of the Horse Facility

trail riding competition

On average, how many people other than horse owners visit the facility per week including service providers? (e.g., veterinarians, workers, farriers, delivery personnel etc.)

What is the policy for checking in those people (other than horse owners)?

Pest Control

horse wearing a mask

Which of the following methods of insect control have been used at the facility during the past 12 months? Check all that apply.

Is grain and pelleted feed stored in a sealed bin or other container that does not allow access by other animals, such as birds or rodents?

Infection Control

washing hands

Are personnel/horse owners trained in infection control practices (e.g. what to do if a horse is sick, hygiene between horses or groups of horses)?

Is there a way for personnel/horse owners to perform hand sanitization?

Is there sharing of equipment between horses (e.g. blankets and brushes)?

Do horses share a common water source (tank/automatic waters/re-used buckets), even if housed separately?

How is manure/bedding disposed of? Check all that apply.

Is there a written protocol for how areas (e.g. stalls, paddocks) are cleaned and disinfected?

How often are the primary horse housing areas (e.g. stalls, paddocks - wherever the horses spend the majority of their time) cleaned?

Is a disinfectant available in the barn for use on stalls in case of a disease outbreak?

Are trailers and other vehicles cleaned between transportation of: Check all that apply

If trailers are cleaned, indicate how they are cleaned the majority of the time. Check all that apply

Sick Horses

taking horses temperature

What best describes your situation?

What would you do if your horse developed a snotty nose and temperature of 102 F (39 C)?

When treating or wrapping wounds on your horses, do you wear disposable gloves?


horse in stall

Are horses that are suspected of having a contagious disease isolated from other horses on the facility?

What best describes the facilities for isolation of sick horses?

When managing horses in isolation, is there a written protocol in place for: Please check all answers that apply.

Have you had an outbreak of a contagious disease in the past 5 years (e.g. strangles, influenza).

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Biosecurity Facts

What is biosecurity?

Management practices that reduce the chances that infectious disease will be carried onto or spread from or within a farm.

Does the equine industry face a high biosecurity risk?

Yes! Horse farms can be high traffic areas full of activity. Horse industry caretakers need to take every possible step to decrease their biosecurity risk.

Does the type of flooring and walls in stalls affect biosecurity risk?

Yes! Porous materials are difficult to clean thoroughly.

How can I protect my horse when away from the farm?

Take your own equipment. Do not share equipment or use communal water troughs. Avoid tying/yarding your horse with other horses. Monitor your horse's health while at the event.

What is the most common way infectious diseases are spread in the equine industry?

When new horses are introduced into the resident herd.

Is vaccination on its own enough to protect against infectious diseases?

No. Vaccination serves to increase protection against certain diseases in individual horses as well as horse populations.

How can I prevent visitors to my farm from bringing in an infectious disease?

It is best to have one entrance to your farm, and parking should be away from horses. Ask visitors to wear clean clothes and shoes. Be equipped with hand washing facilities and provide plastic booties.

How important is it to control pests such as insects and rodents at your facility?

Very important! Insects can carry serious diseases which may infect horses, while rodents carry pathogens that may contaminate feed.

What are some of the most important factors to consider in reducing the occurrence of infectious disease?

It has been said that the 10 most important factors of disease transmission are your fingers. A variety of infectious diseases that affect horses can be spread by people. This happens when people handle an infected horse, its environment or its stall items - and then touch other horses without washing their hands.

Hand washing is critical for disease transmission and is underused in barns just like in the outside world. All barns should have good, convenient, accessible hand washing facilities. Further, alcohol-based hand disinfectant gels should be placed within barns for easy hand disinfection.

What is the difference between cleaning, disinfection and sterilization?

Cleaning: removal of visible debris
Disinfection: removal of most live organisms (which can be divided into low-level, moderate-level and high-level disinfection)
Sterilization: complete elimination of all life.

If I have a sick horse at my barn, how can I protect my other horses from getting sick?

Care for affected horses last; use separate equipment (feed buckets, grooming supplies, etc) for sick horses and mark the equipment with red tape. Wear barrier clothing, plastic booties and wash hands afterwards.

What does putting a horse in 'quarantine' mean?

'Quarantine' refers to completely separating a horse from contact with other horses.

When is it necessary to quarantine a horse?

It is necessary to isolate sick horses from apparently healthy stable mates. New horses and horses that have left and re-entered the farm should also be quarantined from stable mates.

How long should a quarantine period last?

New horses: 30 days
Re-entering horses: 2 weeks
Sick horses: vet recommendation, depending on illness