Guidelines for Biosecurity Implementation


Standard And Medium Level Biosecurity - Daily procedures for all facilities. 


   Grooms and other handlers

  1. Educate workers about their key roles in biosecurity.
  2. Provide means for grooms to sanitize hands between horses
  3. Emphasize importance of disinfecting common equipment
  4. Post emergency numbers and conduct regular biosecurity seminars for handlers.



  1. Keep all new incoming horses separated from population for 3 weeks where practical.
  2. Insist on up-to-date (within 48 hours of shipping) and ACCURATE health papers that indicate recent vaccination history for horses shipping in and those shipping out.  
  3. If possible, keep horses that ship back and forth separated from those that stay home.
  4. Each “shipper” should have its own feed tub, water buckets and equipment that stay with that horse wherever it goes.   
  5. Disinfect vans and/or trailers between EACH trip; insist that commercial haulers do the same.


   Equipment and Facilities

Ideal situation would be where each horse had a separate shank, bridle and grooming tools.  That is not as necessary in a closed population, but implementation of these measures can prevent disease outbreak.  .


1.      Shared Equipment

a.       Disinfect bits between use

b.      Disinfect shank chain between horses. 

c.       Rinse off disinfectant before reuse.

d.      Regularly wash and disinfect grooming tools

e.       Remember that “dipping” and “disinfecting” are not the same thing


2.       Equipment that should not be shared

a.       Do not use common rub rag – each horse should have own rub rag

b.      Viruses are not killed by most horse shampoos.  Use cheap sponges to wipe noses and genitals and disinfect or toss or use disposable baby wipes. 

c.       Do not mix up feed tubs and water buckets


3.      Keep spray bottle of disinfectant handy (see disinfectant guide)

4.      Keep alcohol based hand sanitizer in groom box and use it between horses. 

5.      Keep stable bathrooms clean and stocked with sanitizing hand wash

6.      Establish a procedure for insect and rodent control. 


Sick Horses

1.      Take care of sick horses last. 

2.      Keep detailed records of TPR (temperature, pulse, respiration), medication and daily activity

3.      If possible assign one worker to take care of sick horses

4.      Limit visitors


  Moving To Next Track

  1. Thoroughly clean and disinfect the stalls

        Strip stalls to bare dirt

        Coat dirt stall floor with barn lime and leave undisturbed for a few hours

  1. Disinfect any stall door that may have been exposed to strange horses
  2. Clean & Disinfect mats if provided by track
  3. When cleaning out areas with rodent droppings, dampen floor to minimize dust as it may contain a virus that can cause illness (and even death) in humans. 




HIGH-LEVEL BIOSECURITY – Implemented in non-quarantined area of facility at which a disease has been diagnosed and portions of the facility have been placed under quarantine. 


Standard-Medium procedures apply and the following more stringent procedures are added


1.      Educate grooms on importance of staying out of quarantined barns or allowing grooms from quarantined barns to visit in your stall area.

2.      Pay attention to waste disposal areas and avoid using dump areas common to quarantined barns. 

3.      Do NOT remove horses from grounds if they have been exposed to sick horses. 

4.      Isolate horses that may have been exposed to virus and monitor for 2-3 weeks. 

5.      Limit visitors to Shedrow to essential personnel. 

6.      Take temperatures twice a day and post where State Veterinarian can observe

7.      Implement and monitor strict sanitation and disinfection procedures. 

8.      Don’t panic – these procedures will work to control the spread of disease.  disease[M1] 


QUARANTINE -  State (and Federal) imposed quarantines are ordered in the case of diagnosed EHV infection.  Self-imposed quarantine can reduce severity of disease outbreak (such as Equine Flu) if all workers follow procedures.  Goal of quarantine is to isolate sick horse(s) from rest of population and minimize “hot zone” where virus may be picked up.




Principles of Quarantine


1.      Includes horses that are shedding virus determined by nasal swabs

2.      May include horses that suddenly spike a fever (2 degree temperature increase or more) until nasal swabs verify horse is not shedding virus

3.      Horse may be shedding even though it does not appear to be sick

4.      Isolation will last at least 21 days and may be longer

5.      Ideal “Hot Zone” is a 50 ft zone between quarantine area and healthy horses

6.      If unable to have 50-foot zone, make end of aisle quarantine area.

7.      Watch fan placement to prevent spreading virus farther.

8.      Keep isolation stall enclosed if possible while still allowing for ventilation

9.      Do not walk horses by isolation stall if possible, even if it is inconvenient and difficult to do.

a.       If not possible, the stall must be closed or enclosed so the infected horse cannot hang head outside of gate.

b.      Use Plexiglas or strong plastic covering any grates or over stall opening to minimize exposure to virus from horse coughing or sneezing. 

c.       Put up “dogs” to make sure grooms keep horse moving through area

10.  Follow all state or facility quarantine rules



Hot Zone - area within 50 feet of sick horse(s)


  1. Create a barrier around hot zone using rope, saw horses, or quarantine tape.

2        Mark Hot Zone & Barn with signs

3        EACH horse has a UNIQUE set of equipment used ONLY for that horse

4        All equipment STAYS IN Hot Zone

5        Prepare a disinfectant foot bath for entry & exit and change disinfectant daily

6        Provide disposable gloves to be used while in the Hot Zone

7        Provide garbage can with tight covering lid and labeled HOT ZONE trash

8        Provide second covered garbage can labeled HOT ZONE Coveralls

9        Designate muck tub, wheel barrow or tarp to be used ONLY in Hot Zone

10    Set up hand washing station just outside of Hot Zone for those exiting

11    NO horse leaves Hot Zone until cleared by veterinarian

12    Designate one person to care for sick horse(s )

13    If one person can not be designated, care for sick horse last

14    Only people in Hot Zone should be trainer, veterinarian and Hot Zone groom

15    Do not allow visitors to enter Hot Zone.

16    Keep barn pets OUT of Hot Zone

17    Use good fly control measures



Working in the Hot Zone


1.      All entering must wear Tyvek coveralls or jacket

2.      Place coveralls or jacket in appropriate garbage can upon leaving Hot Zone

3.      Wash Hot Zone coveralls separate from other barn laundry and use disinfectant

4.      Everyone will wear disposable latex gloves while in Hot Zone

5.      Change gloves between each horse

6.      Dispose of gloves in covered garbage can marked “Trash”

7.      Use designated muck bucket, wheelbarrow or tarp to clean stalls.

8.      If no separate muck bucket or wheelbarrow provided, clean hot zone stall last and clean/disinfect equipment when finished.

9.      Most secure method of manure disposal is to bag waste in large sealable plastic garbage bag disposed in manner so that bags will not break open. 

10.  Top off water using separate bucket and NOT hose as virus lives in water and can move from bucket to bucket on the end of the hose.

11.  Disinfect hands and arms before leaving Hot Zone even when using gloves

12.  Use the disinfecting foot tub even if disposable booties are provided.


Warm Zone is area(s) adjacent to Hot Zone


  1. Horses in this area are at greatest risk of acquiring infection
  2. Immediate Warm Zone is stalls adjacent to Quarantine stalls. 
    1. Leave these stalls empty if possible
    2. If not possible, establish as much of a barrier as possible
    3. Do not move exposed horses unless they can be isolated for 14-21 days
    4. Diligently take temperatures  (2 or 3 times daily) per veterinarian instruction
    5. Log health observations daily particularly noting any change in behavior, gait or respiratory symptoms
  3. Local Warm Zone includes barns adjacent to quarantined barn
    1. Maintain good ventilation
    2. Control traffic flow (horses and people) through barn
    3. Avoid common manure disposal areas
    4. Do not borrow or loan equipment
    5. Thoroughly clean and disinfect all equipment daily



 [M1] This reads as if there is an active quarantine going one and that may not be the case where this document may be used.