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Contingency plan released for livestock producers

The University of Minnesota Extension livestock team has released a set of customizable forms that can be used to create an operations contingency plan for their farm, according to a press release. The contingency forms are meant to provide livestock owners a starting point to outline essential livestock care if they or their managers become sick with COVID-19 or another emergency occurs. In those situations, care would likely need to be administered by a non-household member. The contingency plan is meant to cover short-term, essential care only and is not meant to serve as a comprehensive care plan. The intended use of the forms is for emergency planning purposes.

Plans are available at z.umn.edu/LivestockPlans for download and can be saved and then filled out. Forms can be filled out on the computer or printed and done by hand. There are templates for dairy, beef, swine, poultry (commercial, pasture and urban), horse (private and boarding), honeybee and small ruminant (sheep and goat). The forms are intended to aid livestock owners in preparing for short-term (such as 30 days), essential care of animals during an illness or emergency that is provided by non-household members.

Household or intimate contacts are considered at higher risk of developing COVID-19. If a household or intimate contact develops COVID-like symptoms, the entire household should stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms, the release stated. Thus, identifying non-household member caretakers are necessary.

As a reminder, COVID-19 does not appear to affect animals but can exist on surfaces, especially nonporous surfaces, according to the press release. Do not touch anything handled by an ill person without personal protective equipment.

Livestock owners are also encouraged to have a family or household plan in case someone becomes sick with COVID-19 and must isolate at home.

Continue regular preventative steps including hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and cleaning high-use surfaces. Keep the sick person in a separate room from the rest of the household and limit how many people interact with them. Monitor your own health, and encourage self-care for all household members and take the time to do it for yourself.

For more resources from the livestock team, visit extension.umn.edu/animals-and-livestock.