University of Vermont

Healthy Farms - Healthy Agriculture

General Guidelines for All Visitors goat photo by Krista Cheney, link to home page

Visitor Biosecurity—
General Guidelines for All Visitors

Guiding the movement of visitors, personnel, and vehicles will minimize cross-contamination from one part of a farm to another. All high-risk visitors and farm employees should follow the clean to dirty, young to old, healthy to sick order of work. Work routines, such as feeding and milking, should start with healthy and younger animals then go to sick or older animals. Work should also move from clean to dirty areas. For example, start in feed storage or feeding areas and end in the freestall alley. Make every effort to prevent the contamination of feedstuffs with manure. Everyone who will come in contact with livestock, manure, or other bodily fluids should arrive with clean boots and coveralls, and be sure to clean their boots and wash their hands before leaving the farm.

Parking areas should be located away from livestock, feed delivery areas, and manure handling routes. Only the farm's vehicles should be allowed in livestock handling and housing areas or around feed storage areas. Use the farm's vehicles to transport visitors, employees, and agri-service personnel. Animal and deadstock pickup areas should be located near an access point that is set apart from barns, pastures, or other livestock areas.

visitor signage photo by Julie SmithPhoto: Julie Smith, DVM, Ph.D

If your farm regularly hosts visitors, you should do the following:

  • Have a single, clearly marked entrance for all visitors to control the flow of traffic.
  • Refuse entry to visitors who have returned less than a week ago from areas of the world where Foot and Mouth Disease exists. Consider refusing entry to all visitors who have traveled outside of North America in the past five to seven days. (See Foreign Animal Disease Prevention)
  • Keep a visitor log to record who was on the farm and when.
  • Maintain accessible, functioning hand and boot wash stations.
  • plastic bootie photo by Julie SmithPhoto: Julie Smith, DVM, Ph.D

  • Supply disposable plastic boots for visitors who need them, and provide a means for their disposal on the farm.
  • Know the risk posed by your visitors (low, medium, or high) and prepare accordingly.
  • Clearly mark and restrict access to all high-risk areas. (See Signage Around the Farm)

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Last modified November 06 2010 11:04 PM

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