With concerns over foreign animal diseases and biosecurity on the rise, beef producers should take precautions with visitors to their operations. University of California Animal Scientist John Mass offers the following recommendations, classifying visitors and procedures based on level of risk.
Low risk – Visitors from urban areas with no other livestock interaction.
- As visitors to arrive on farm with clean close and footwear, or provide disposable footwear.
- Accompany visitors on the tour.
- Minimize the amount of contact between visitors and animals.
- As visitors leave, instruct them to wash hands and boots with detergent.
Moderate risk – Visitors who travel farm to farm but have no contact with livestock, such as salesmen or mechanics.
- Follow the same measures for low risk visitors.
- Provide clean coveralls if any contact with feed, water, soil samples, manure or farm equipment will occur.
- Sampling equipment must be clean before use.
- Before leaving the premises, boots should be disinfected and coveralls should be removed and burned or laundered.
High risk – Visitors who travel from farm to farm and have direct contact with animals, such as veterinarians, inseminators, processing crews or truck drivers.
- Follow the same measures for low and moderate-risk individuals.
- Visitors should arrive with clean coveralls, boots and equipment.
- Trucks and livestock trailers should be clean before arrival on the operation.
- All equipment should be sterile and disposable syringes and needles should be used if possible.
- Disposable gloves or plastic sleeves should be worn whenever there is direct contact with body fluids, tissues or excrement, such as in palpation or assisting births.
Foreign/high-risk – Any visitor from a foreign country, especially those visitors that have had any animal contact.
- Do not allow any foreign visitor on the farm within five days of entering the country.
- Do not allow clothing, footwear and accessories that have been warn in other countries to be worn on the farm.
- Do not allow food stuffs from other countries onto the farm.
- Provide coveralls and boots and require visitor to wash hands and arms before entering.
- Allow minimal contact with animals.
- If visitor must enter the farm within five days of entering the country, provide a respiration mask, disposable latex gloves, all clothing and footwear for the visitor.