Advice to Farmers
Biosecurity should be a way of life on farms, but the threat of foot-and-mouth disease means that you need to pay more attention than ever to who comes on the farm and what you expect of visitors. Here's what you should be doing to protect your animals from disease.
Keep disinfectant ready at entry points to your farm, and to barns and sheds that house animals. You can buy disinfectants at farm supply stores that will kill a range of organisms. Foot-and-mouth disease is caused by a virus, so the disinfectant you buy will need to contain a virucide. Be sure to follow label directions. You can also use white vinegar, or a solution of 5 tablespoons of household bleach to one gallon of water. If you use bleach solution, you'll need to refresh it every two hours.
Don't let anyone on your farm who has been in a foot-and-mouth disease-infected nation within one week. If this isn't possible, those visitors should wear clothing that has been laundered since leaving the infected nation. They should stay away from animals or wear facemasks when near the animals. Keep a supply of disposable facemasks, available at hardware stores.
Post warning signs asking visitors to stay out of buildings where animals are housed. Meet visitors away from production areas. This may mean locking the barn or shed doors.
Be sure visitors leave all food in their vehicles.
Visitors must remove manure and soil from their shoes or boots and disinfect them, or put on disposable boots. They should also put on clean protective clothing.
Keep a record of visitors.
Have transporters pick up sale animals or dead animals away from barns or sheds housing animals.
If you haul your own animals, you need to wash the truck, clean and disinfect boots, and change coveralls before returning to your farm.
For more information call the Animal Health Division, 608-224-4872.