DEFA advice to farmers
The Department advises farmers to review their biosecurity practices. Leaving aside Foot and Mouth Disease there is no doubt that future improvements in general herd health will require far greater attention to be paid to farm gate controls and general farm hygiene. There is no better time than now to establish new practices.
The farm gate:
Keep it shut:
- There is no easier way to prevent unnecessary visitors
- Put your telephone number on the gate
Provide a postbox at the gate:
- Postmen drive from farm to farm – this is an avoidable disease risk
Visiting other farms / sales:
Arrive with clean boots, clothes and hands
Arrive with clean vehicles especially wheels and clean machinery:
- dung spreads disease - keep yours at home!
If you regularly work on a friend's farm - why not leave boots and overalls there?
Leave the farm as clean as you arrived.
Holding a sale:
Request all clients arrive in clean vehicles and clothing
Provide a bootwash:
- Hosepipe and brush off soil first
- Ensure disinfectant is replenished
- Contamination with animal dung will stop disinfectant working and render a boot-dip useless
Stock wagons should arrive clean
Leave the sale as clean as you arrived.
Require contractors to:
- Arrive with clean boots
- Arrive with clean machinery
Contractors move from farm to farm, they are a clear disease risk that can be reduced by simple practices
Collect animals together before the haulier arrives:
- Don't leave other animals in the same pen
- Don't ask the haulier to tag or sort the animals
- Don't allow the haulier to unload animals in transit onto your farm
Load the animals yourself
Best practice is to provide a loading bay outside the farmyard