Preventing Transmission of Wildlife Disease to Livestock with Dr. Rosslyn Biggs

Listen to Rosslyn Biggs talk about wildlife biosecurity.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is featuring comments from Farm Reporter Maci Carter’s visit with Oklahoma State University Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Dr. Rosslyn Biggs. Biggs is also the Director of Continuing Education at the OSU Center for Veterinary Medicine. Biggs talks about preventing the transmission of wildlife disease to livestock animals.

Illustrating the practical importance of biosecurity, Dr. Biggs discussed the recent cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza in dairy cattle, underscoring the need for vigilance in managing wildlife interactions.

“It is not just a concern from waterfowl and avian influenza; we have wildlife species right here in Oklahoma and certainly in this region of the United States,” Biggs said. “Take feral hogs, for example. They are a great opportunity, unfortunately, to expose our domestic species to things like leptospirosis. They are also known to carry diseases like swine brucellosis and pseudorabies as well.”

Biggs talked about some ways to establish and advance biosecurity in a livestock operation to prevent the transmission of disease from wildlife to livestock. To read Dr. Biggs’ article about biosecurity approaches to mitigate wildlife disease, CLICK HERE.

“First and foremost thing is to designate a biosecurity manager on the operation,” Biggs said.

The next step Biggs recommended is to get in touch with a veterinarian and talk about potential risks for disease transmission in the operation.

“Develop a plan, put it down in writing and review it, make sure everybody in the operation is familiar with it and that we are following those procedures,” Biggs said.

Turning the page, Biggs also talked about OSU’s internal parasite study, which is researching internal parasite resistance in beef cattle by testing the effectiveness of dewormers.

The study is seeking a minimum of 20 (preferably 30) animals that are within the same stage of production. For example, classes of cattle enrolled in the study could be mature cows of approximately the same age, weaned calves, purchased growing and weaned steers or stocker heifers, or replacement heifers. Good animal handling facilities are required where cattle can be restrained for safe fecal collection.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please fill out the interest form at or scan the QR code below. Once the interest form is received, someone from the research team will be in contact to coordinate delivery of the sampling kits and other details. Questions on the project may be directed to or .

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