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Biosecurity on your farm

Keith Ortiz for Progressive Dairy Published on 19 July 2021

With the recent pandemic paralyzing the world economy and affecting the majority of households, the threat of disease in the dairy industry has large potential in regard to animal housing.

The main conduits of disease transmission on a dairy farm are humans, animals, tools and machinery. These means of infection can be filtered and controlled to mitigate disease transmission prior to and during arrival on the property.

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In this large-scale drawing of a dairy operation, I have noted where to implement biosecurity “checkpoints.” Here is how you might consider handling each potential conduit of disease:

Humans

  • At a minimum, employees should change into clean boot covers and coveralls.

  • Optional: Employees should shower-in and shower-out before entering the main animal living area.

  • Veterinarians should be practicing similar protocols as farm employees.

  •  Visitors to the dairy should sign in to a single-point access area prior to entering the property.
     
  • Equipment technicians should change into clean boot covers and coveralls, and sanitize tools prior to entering main animal housing area.

Animals

  • Incoming animals should be held at a quarantine barn separate from the main animal living area.

  • Deceased animals should be placed into a deadstock area for proper handling.

  • Attic/roof of main living area to have minimal space for bird nesting.

Vehicles/machinery/tools

  • Incoming tools and machinery should be disinfected.

  • Have an area for vehicle tire washing at a single entry/exit. This could be depressed concrete with detergent or a spray/wash station.

The dairy industry should continue to prepare for and mitigate against the spread of disease by looking at other agriculture industries that practice and regulate biosecurity. To implement these types of precautions on your farm, speak with a designer of agricultural facilities to understand the best approach for your new or existing facility.  end mark

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Keith Ortiz
  • Keith Ortiz

  • Architect and Project Design Specialist
  • DeLaval

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