Contaminated equipment can bring disease or spread it around your farm.  This is true for both your own equipment and equipment belonging to other people.  Organisms and parasites that cause disease can survive for long periods on equipment, unless precautions are taken.

It is common for equipment to be hired or shared, particularly where there is movement of staff and vehicles between holdings.  This adds to the potential risk of disease, as you may not be sure of where the equipment has previously been used.

The risks are highest where equipment is used directly around animals.

  • Livestock trailers.
  • Scanning equipment.
  • Clipping, shearing and foot trimming equipment.
  • Muck spreading equipment.
  • Penning equipment, races, crushes and crates.
  • Equipment used to move feed and bedding.
  • Calf feeding equipment.


Steps to protect your animals

  • Ensure all your equipment is cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • Where possible, avoid using shared or hired equipment for work requiring close contact with animals or their products.
  • Where shared or hired equipment is to be used, ensure it is cleaned and disinfected at the point of entry, immediately upon arrival at your farm.
  • Where possible, minimise the movement of equipment between your own farms and holdings.

In particular

  • Never share syringes, and never re-use needles or disposable gloves.
  • Use vaccination equipment which minimises spread between animals, for example Sterimatic syringes.
  • Ensure equipment such as drenching guns and re-useable syringes are cleaned, ideally between batches, and at least at the end of each day.