Practising good biosecurity will protect you, and your stock.

First published:
16 November 2018
Last updated:

Practising good biosecurity will protect you, and your stock, from:

  • diseases
  • pests
  • bioterrorism

Disease can spread in a number ways, including through:

  • movement of animals, people and machinery between and within farms
  • introduction of new animals
  • contact with neighbours’ livestock
  • contamination by vermin and wild birds
  • animals drinking from contaminated rivers and streams

What should I do

To keep biosecure, you should:

  • not bring infection onto your farm, or spread it around your farm, on your clothes, footwear or hands
  • limit and control farm visitors and vehicles
  • keep farm access routes, parking areas, yards, feeding and storage areas clean and tidy
  • have pressure washers, brushes, hoses, water and disinfectant available - make sure visitors use them
  • keep animal housing clean and well ventilated - do not overstock
  • not share injecting and dosing equipment – if it can’t be avoided, cleanse and disinfect thoroughly
  • clean and disinfect farm machinery and equipment (especially if sharing with another farm) - ensure contractors do the same
  • provide livestock with a balanced and nutritious diet. Do not feed livestock unpasteurised, high cell count milk
  • know the origins of bought-in livestock (testing history, TB passport stickers and CHeCS)
  • make a health plan with your vet, to include isolation for new or returning stock
  • prevent contact with neighbours' livestock - keep your fences in good condition
  • put pest control programmes in place
  • fence off ponds, streams and rivers - supply clean fresh drinking water in troughs
  • keep livestock away from freshly spread slurry at least for two months
  • ensure identification and record keeping is accurate and up to date
  • dispose of fallen stock properly
  • be vigilant to any signs of disease - report suspicions of notifiable disease to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as soon as possible

Why should I be biosecure

Serious animal disease outbreaks (for example, Foot and Mouth disease) can be disastrous for producers. They cause significant personal stress and anguish, as well as financial hardship.

By following good biosecurity practices you can:

  • protect your animals, your neighbours' animals and the countryside
  • keep disease out
  • reduce potential spread of disease
  • keep your animals healthy
  • cut costs of disease prevention and treatment
  • improve farm efficiency

on the AHDB dairy website