A HEALTHY HERD = A HAPPY HERD!
Our absolute number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our animals. As a facility open to the public, The Musk Ox Farm has biosecurity protocols in place for the safety of our musk oxen and visitors. With any large herd, there is an inherent risk for the possibility of zoonotic diseases being passed from people to animals, or animals to people. These protocols have been determined based on the advice of the Alaska State Veterinarian and the CDC.
The health of our herd is, and always has been, paramount. Biosecurity at animal handling facilities has been in place long before the CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Musk oxen are at risk of contracting COVID-19, what is not known is how adverse the affects the disease would have on the herd. For this reason, we have asked our guests to wear masks for the past two years. Most people are aware that there are differing opinions regarding mask wearing, we have become acutely aware of this over the past two years. As more and more people are feeling comfortable putting their masks away, we are going to set this discussion aside and remove the requirement for visitors to the farm to wear masks. Although facemasks are no longer required, we strongly encourage you to consider wearing one at the farm, for the continued health of our herd both musk ox and the staff that cares for them. Thank you for your understanding, and for helping us keep our beautiful musk oxen healthy and happy!
• Visitors must be with a guide at all times to tour the facility
• All visitors must walk through a foot bath containing a broad spectrum disinfectant to kill any bacteria and parasites from being tracked into the chutes that are shared by animals and people.
• Visitors are to have no contact with the animals at any time, including petting or feeding.
• Visitors are not allowed to put hands or arms through the fencing that is in place for the protection of our animals and people.
• Double fencing of the property keeps the herd secure and helps prevent other wildlife or neighboring livestock from contacting animals and potentially spreading disease.
• Fencing perimeter checks are performed regularly to ensure security
• Staff is on site seven days/week and consistently monitors the health of each animal.
• Vaccinations: each animal receives Covexin8, an eight-way vaccination to protect against potential viruses. Additionally, expectant mothers receive ScourGuard4K for protection from e.coli and bovine rotavirus-coronavirus
• All animals receive a dewormer twice/year
• The Musk Ox Farm has an on-call vet to provide next level care of our herd when needed.
The Musk Ox Farm has added COVID-19 safety protocols to our biosecurity and herd health plan:
• Face masks are requested for all visitors over the age of 2 inside our buildings, and outside during the tour.
• All visitors are asked to sanitize their hands prior to heading out on their tour and walk through the disinfectant foot bath. Hand sanitizer will be provided by the farm.
• Staff will be required to wear face masks and to wash/sanitize hands frequently.
• Surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day by staff.
• If anyone in your party is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or feels unwell in any way, entry will not be permitted. You must call us to rebook or cancel your tour.
OUR HERD IS UNIQUE.
A captive herd of musk oxen is unlike other captive herds of animals. Our protocols are designed to address the specific and potential threats to musk oxen. Herd health and security is our number one concern above all else. The introduction of other livestock or zoonotic diseases could be devastating to the herd and all the work accomplished over the past nearly seven decades.