Standard disinfection tools and processes may already be in place in your farm, as biosecurity is a must in maintaining overall farm health. Now in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, farm owners may be questioning what products they should be using and what procedures should be in place for cleaning and disinfecting in an effort to stop the spread of the disease and keep farm staff healthy.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures being taken in by many many countries may have an effect on animal raising and production. It can be taxing on farm owners and staff because not only are we working to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we also should not lower our guard against diseases common to each sector, like African Swine Fever to the hog raising industry, for example.
To help guide you in this new normal, here are some preventive measures against introducing and spreading disease on the farm. It is also good to note that some of these are excellent practices to follow at all times
1. Inform all workers
Before anything else, it is necessary to inform all farm workers and staff about the disease, the preventive measures that will be put in place, and how important everyone’s health is for the operation of the farm. Use information from official sources and keep informative signs or posters within view to remind staff about the necessary sanitary measures.
2. Use good management to boost immunity.
This goes for your family, staff, and animals. Strong immunity is important now more than ever. Keep good nutrition, water, housing, ventilation, and general hygiene a priority to strengthen immune defenses and minimize the risk of diseases in general.
3. Be vigilant and observant.
Report any serious illnesses to your veterinarian or medical professional as needed. While there is no need for panic, it’s always good to go over ways to best address illnesses on the farm with experts.
4. Limit unnecessary visits and entries.
Visits by outside personnel should be restricted to sanitary actions by the essential maintenance of the farm. All visitors should wear personal protective equipment and maintain a minimum distance of 1 meter from other farm personnel.
5. Increase hand washing frequency.
In line with this, make soap and/or disinfectant products available in the farm’s bathrooms and sanitation areas.
6. Clean and disinfect often.
This goes for both in the home and on the farm. Disinfect items and surfaces that people touch often such as doorknobs, farm tools, etc. Surfaces should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common household disinfectants should be effective.
For the cleaning and disinfecting the farm, take note of the following:
- Be sure to clean surfaces from organic material like dirt or manure before disinfection.
- Select a disinfectant that will be active across a wide spectrum of germs under the conditions in which it will be used.
- Allow disinfectants to have sufficient contact time with the surfaces they are applied to in order to be effective against germs and bacteria.