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Biosecurity on Dairy Farms

Scott J. Wells, DVM, PhD, DACVPM University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

Biosecurity Protocol for Farm Visitors

( Biosecurity protocols should be a part of every farms biological risk management plan. The current concern over Foot and Mouth Disease has provided an opportunity to develop or refine current biosecurity protocols for farm visitors. It is recognized that there are a number of individuals who need to visit the farm as part of the daily operations. These individuals include AI technicians, veterinarians, feed industry personnel, supply sales representatives and equipment repair individuals. Each of these individuals should be aware of your farms biosecurity plan and follow your recommendations. This plan should also include visitors. As a farm owner it is wise to develop and enforce biosecurity policies for all individuals visiting your farm. The following guidelines can assist you in developing your biosecuity program:

Establish one area on the farm where visitors can enter. This area should not be an animal housing area and should be clearly marked so visitors go directly to this entry point once on the farm. Keep a visitor log of the names and dates of the visitors. This could be useful for tracking purposes if a disease outbreak occurs. Determine if the individuals have been on another farm prior to visiting your facility. Determine if there is any need for the individual to enter any animal housing areas on your farm. Visitors to the animal housing units should wear only clean clothing and boots on your farm. You may want to consider providing disposable coveralls and plastic boots for these visitors. For industry individuals who frequently visit the farm, consider providing a set of coveralls and boots for the individual to wear while on your farm. Provide footbaths or disinfectant containers at the entrance to each animal housing area on your farm. The individual should clean boots when moving between animal housing units.

Discourage the visitors from having direct animal, feed, or water contact. Consider appropriate animal viewing locations that minimize risk of disease transmission.

Foreign Visitors:

Foreign visitors should follow the same protocol as all farm visitors. In addition individuals who have arrived in the United States within the last 7 days from a country with Foot and Mouth Disease should be prohibited from entering the animal housing area.

Vehicles and Equipment:

Designate a parking location for vehicles entering the farm. This location should be away from the animal housing areas. Individuals driving offfarm vehicles should report to the visitor receiving area upon arrival. Dont let off-farm vehicles drive through the animal housing units. Ideally, vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected before entering your animal housing areas. If animals are loaded or unloaded onto trucks, it is best to bring the animal(s) to the truck. The truck should be parked at an area removed from the animal housing facility. Any equipment coming onto your farm (hoof trimming tables, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected before it enters your property. If it is not properly cleaned and disinfected, do not permit it in the animal housing unit. Locate it on an area away from the barn and have it cleaned and disinfected at that location.

Purchased Animals:

Work with your veterinarian to develop a protocol for introducing new animals into the herd. Consider the health status of the herd of origin, test results for specific pathogens, vaccination programs and quarantine protocols before bringing any new animals onto your farm. Ideally there should be a separate housing facility to accept and isolate new animals for a specified period of time depending on the diseases of concern.