AUSTRALIA – Stringent measures to limit the biosecurity risk of farm visitors should be seen as safeguarding a farm’s future profits, a national initiative is telling farmers.
Disinfectant, spare footwear, designated parking and visitor log books are like a farm’s “insurance for future profitability”, according to government advisors at Farm Biosecurity.
Advice for producers is that limiting visitor access limits health risks to plants and animals.
This means having only one entry point to the farm and appropriate signage to let them know biosecurity is taken seriously and where they can and cannot go, state government advisors.
According to the advisors: “Signs to designated parking should be clearly visible to the entrance to the property. Visitors should be directed to a designated parking area away from livestock and crops and then report to the office or house to sign a visitor register.”
Registering visits allows a review of personnel in the event of an outbreak, Farm Biosecurity has explained.
Once on the farm, visitors, whether labourers, agronomists, veterinarians, suppliers etc. should follow basic hygiene practices of hand washing and disinfecting footwear.
Guidance states dirty work clothes or footwear should remain on the property on which they are used as these have the potential to spread disease.
Free range poultry specialist, Michael Sommerlad, said: “People might realise they can represent a threat to my operation, so I like to know where they’ve been, why they’re coming and deal with them accordingly.”
Farmer Mike Coote, a cattle, sheep and free range egg producer, said: “Farm biosecurity means everything to me. It’s very much a part of the tool-kit that a farmer needs to have.”
Photo courtesy of Farm Biosecurity