After movement of animals, visitors pose the second highest risk of bringing disease on to your farm. Often visitors provide a service and bring vehicles and equipment with them. You won’t always know about a visitor’s contact with other animals before they visit your farm. They could bring and spread disease without realising, so it is wise to protect your animals from the risks visitors pose.
Only encourage visitors who behave exactly as you ask with respect to keeping disease off your farm.
Highest risk are those visitors who have close contact with your animals, for example:
- Artificial inseminators
- Pregnancy scanners
- Shared or relief staff (e.g. milkers)
- Foot trimmers
- Clippers and shearers
- Poultry catchers
These people may have animals of their own.
General guidance for visitors to your farm:
- Keep visits to a minimum, screening visitors you don’t know in advance
- Only allow access or contact with stock if absolutely necessary
- Always ask in advance about previous stock contact
- Request avoidance of other animal contact as necessary, based on risk (your vet can advise)
- Keep people informed of disease risks on your farm, to allow precautions to be taken
Take steps to set up your farm to manage visitors safely.
- Use appointment systems to help plan for visitor movements
- Have a single entrance/exit point to your farm
- Have a post box and delivery point at the road end or farm perimeter
- Provide a clean parking area with hard standing, outside the farm perimeter, away from animal areas
- Provide clear signs for visitors arriving on your farm to direct them to the farmhouse/office, away from animal and feed areas
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment, cleaning and disinfection facilities for visitors and vehicles at entrance and exit
- Depending on your herd or flock’s disease status, you may also need to provide showers and changing facilities