Infectious disease represents a major threat to the productivity and welfare of cattle herds throughout the world. The introduction of infectious agents into dairy and beef farms may be through direct transmission (purchased cattle, reintroduced resident cattle and contact with contiguous cattle) or indirect transmission (fomites, visitors, other species, and biological materials) and this article reviews the evidence supporting these transmission routes. In the absence of eradication programmes for many endemic infectious diseases, bioexclusion is the key management process for risk reduction. Various ameliorative bioexclusion strategies have been recommended and the evidence supporting these protocols is considered.
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