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AHDB Pork Encouraging Colourful Approach to Disease Prevention

27 October 2015, at 12:00am

UK - Small and simple changes to practical on-farm biosecurity measures, such as colour-coded clothing, can have a big impact and AHDB Pork is encouraging pig producers to consider them.

Martin Smith, AHDB Pork technical veterinary team manager says that the breakdown of units with disease can often be traced back to poor biosecurity and therefore producers should be tightening on-farm protocols.

“It doesn’t have to be expensive or particularly time consuming, as with many things, small changes can have a huge difference,” he adds.

“For example, one producer has implemented a straight-forward clothing colour coding system on his unit to prevent the outbreak and spread of disease.”

East Yorkshire pig producer Ed Rowbottom, explains how his alternative approach to biosecurity works in practise.

“Before entering the nursery unit, everyone has to remove their blue overalls and green wellies that they’ve been wearing in the grower and finisher buildings,” says Ed.

“They wash their hands and change to a pair of orange overalls and white wellies. Once this process is complete, they’re free to enter the nursery unit,” he adds.

“On exiting the building everyone has to carry out the same procedure in reverse.”

Ed believes that the success of his ‘colourful’ approach to biosecurity is down to its simplicity but realises that it requires careful management and investment.

“The process works effectively when managed well, but does require additional costs associated with purchasing and washing the overalls. However, these costs are minimal compared to the cost that a serious disease outbreak could bring.

“We’re lucky that all of our staff are on board with the concept. To encourage uptake and successful implementation, I’d recommend that producers clearly explain the theory behind the process to help staff stick to it long term.”

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