FarmCareGB

Cattle Biosecurity

The Need for Biosecurity

Cattle FeedingBiosecurity – the protection of livestock from exposure to disease causing organisms.

One of the greatest disease threats to a cow or calf is from other cattle, whether through direct contact or through surfaces, equipment or people contaminated by diseased animals. This threat is greatest when cattle are brought together into housing, particularly at calving, when stress reduces the effectiveness of the animal's immune system.

Proper vaccination plays important role in disease prevention. Medication can also be used once animals are seen to be sick. However neither of these can offer complete, effective and economical protection against the wide range of disease organisms that threaten cattle. Biosecurity completes the armory of protection, excluding disease organisms from the animal's environment. This is the only way that the cycle of disease can be broken.

It is particularly important against the threat of so-called “management diseases”, such as calf pneumonia and calf scours which cost the beef and dairy industries large sums of money every year through death, poor growth, poor feed conversion and the cost of medication. Biosecurity can only be achieved through regular and comprehensive routines, using products that are proven to be effective against viral, bacterial and fungal disease organisms.

Cattle Biosecurity Programs

Calving

CalfCalves need the best possible start in life, and cows need the best possible care at calving to ensure a good profitable lactation. A crucial factor in achieving these aims is to make sure that the calving environment is as clean and pathogen free as possible. Calving should be in a designated building away from the rest of the herd.

  1. The building should be thoroughly cleaned of all organic debris.

  2. Now the surfaces should be pressure washed using Quat-Gard at a dilution of 1:500.

  3. All the cleaned surfaces should be sprayed with a solution of Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:200 at a rate of 300ml per square metre.

  4. After each calving, remove all bedding, cleansing and discharges. Clean and disinfect with Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:200.

  5. Clean buckets and utensils regularly with Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:100.

Calf rearing

For information on calf rearing Biosecurity please refer to our section “Care of Housed Calves.”

Cow Cubicles

There are many factors involved in the development of mastitis, including genetic predisposition and milking techniques. Of vital importance is the environmental control of mastitis pathogens. The reduction of bacteria in the immediate surroundings must reduce the opportunity for such bacteria to gain access to the udder.

Clean cow housing when the building is empty.

  1. It should be thoroughly cleaned of all organic debris.

  2. Surfaces should be pressure washed using Quat-Gard at a dilution of 1:500.

  3. All cleaned surfaces should be sprayed with a solution of Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:200 at a rate of 300ml per square metre.

  4. Remove dung and bedding from cubicles daily. Scrape / remove dung from channel at least once daily. Spray the concrete base with Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:200 at a rate of 300 ml per square metre and renew bedding.

  5. Clean and disinfect all equipment, utensils, feed racks and drinkers daily with Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:100.

Collection Area

Again with the prevention of a build up of mastitis pathogens in mind, it is important to disinfect the collection area after each cleaning.

All cleaned surfaces should be sprayed with a solution of Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:200 at a rate of 300ml per square metre.

Milking Parlour and Dairy

This is the area where the Dairy Farmer would naturally practice high standards of Hygiene with milk hygiene and mastitis prevention high on the agenda. However, farmers frequently fail to use effective broad spectrum disinfectants after cleaning.

FarmCareGB's Viru-Gard is a product highly suited to use in parlour and dairy. This broad spectrum disinfectant is a safer alternative to many other products and presents no risk of milk taint.

  1. After each milking and the removal of all organic contamination, surfaces should be pressure washed using Quat-Gard at a dilution of 1:500.
  2. All cleaned surfaces and equipment should now be sprayed with a solution of Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:200 at a rate of 300ml per square metre.

Details of Terminal Disinfection for Housed Animals

Stage 1. Removal of Equipment and Dry Cleaning

The removal of all gross organic soiling is essential because dung and refuse contains high levels of contamination and are a major source of infection. High levels of soiling will also reduce the efficacy of the cleaning and disinfection process.

  • Remove animals, feeders, drinkers, pen separators, crates etc. from the area to be disinfected and put to one side for cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Remove all dung, soiled bedding and unused feed from the area to be cleaned using brushes, forks, or a mechanical scraper. Dust can be vacuumed from ledges.
  • Dispose of all dung and soiled bedding by burial, incineration or transport from the the area of the animal housing.

Stage 2. Pre-Cleaning and Sanitizing

Following any dry cleaning process high levels of infective material will still remain. Cleaning and sanitizing using products with detergent capacity and a biocidal activity to remove soiling from the walls and floors ensures greasy deposits do not remain on rough surfaces e.g. concrete and wood. Detergent-sanitisers also reduce the time taken to clean by up to 60%, and reduce the spread of disease in washing water.

  • Use Quat-Gard diluted 1:500 or 1:250 for foaming.
  • Apply with a knapsack sprayer or pressure washer. The pressure washer should be set on a low pressure setting 500 psi (35 bars) using a 45-degree angle jet. Use the appropriate application rate (normally 500 ml/m2 or 25oml/m2 for foam application).
  • Start at the apex of the roof and work down the walls to the floor paying particular attention to corners and other areas where dirt accumulates. Caked soiling should be brushed if necessary to aid removal.
  • Allow surfaces to dry where possible before disinfection.

Stage 3. Water System and Equipment Sanitizing

All water systems contain some bacterial contamination, especially the header tanks where dust and dirt can accumulate. This may enable disease to pass from one batch of animals to the next unless the bacterial growth is eliminated. Sanitizing will clean the system and eliminate bacterial growth.

Drainable Systems

  1. Isolate the header tank at the mains and drain off from points farthest from the tank.

  2. Remove accumulations of dirt from the tank.

  3. Refill with water and add Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1kg to 200 litres (0.5%) - leave for 10 minutes.

  4. Flush through to drain off point(s) and leave for 30 minutes.

  5. Refill with fresh water.

Non Drainable systems and those with poor quality or contaminated water

  1. Add Viru-Gard to the header tanks at a dilution of 1kg to 1000 liters (0.1%).

  2. Isolate the supply to the header tank and allow all water to be consumed until the system is empty.

  3. Remove any sludge from the header tanks.

  4. Recharge with water adding Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1kg to 1000 liters (0.1%).

Moveable Equipment

Equipment removed from the house before dry cleaning feeders, drinkers, pen separators etc. can carry heavy pathogenic contamination and if not thoroughly cleaned it can lead to carry over of infection to newly introduced livestock.

  1. Either soak and scrub equipment in a tank or pressure wash with Quat-Gard diluted 1:500.

  2. Store equipment where it will not be re-contaminated.

Stage 4. Disinfection

The level of disease organisms, particularly viruses, present after cleaning and sanitizing is still high enough to offer a serious disease challenge to young or recently introduced stock. The use of a broad-spectrum disinfectant active against viruses, bacteria, yeasts, moulds and other pathogenic organisms is essential to complete an effective disease control program. It is of prime importance to ensure all surfaces are thoroughly wet with disinfectant to break the chain of infection.

Use Viru-Gard

  1. Apply at recommended dilution rate.
  2. Use a knapsack sprayer or pressure washer at 35 bars (300psi) with a 45-degree spray head.
  3. Pay particular attention to corners, cracks, seams and porous surfaces eg. wood and concrete which can retain infective material.
  4. Spray in the apex of the roof and work down the walls to the floors.
  5. Allow surfaces to dry before restocking.

Stage 5. Fogging and Aerial Disinfection

Fogging

When animal housing has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected all moveable equipment should be returned and new bedding can be laid. To control any disease that could be brought in with the bedding and to disinfect inaccessible areas that might have been overlooked, the house should be fogged.

  1. Spray Viru-Gard diluted at 1:100. Spray into the eaves using a very fine mist from a pressure washer or using a mechanical fogger.
  1. Use at a rate of 1 litre of solution per 100 cubic meters. Fogging with Viru-Gard is safer and more effective than traditional methods of fogging with aldehydes. Houses fogged with Viru-Gard can be restocked immediately following fogging, the bacterial and viral kill is complete and there are no chemical hazards associated with its use.

NOTE: FarmCareGB’s Farm-Gard is an alternative and economic disinfectant for surface disinfection in rearing and beef units. It is not advised for use in the presence of Dairy Cattle due to the risk of milk taint.

 

Care of Housed Calves

CalfCalf pneumonia and calf scours cost the farming industry world wide vast sums. It is estimated that in the UK alone that cost is over £100 million per year. The losses result not only from deaths, but from reduced feed conversion, poor growth and the cost of treatment. However, if efficient hygiene management practices are put in place, these two serious diseases can be prevented.

The housing of calves introduces similar threats to those seen with the intensification of other species such as poultry and pigs. Some of these threats can be termed ‘management related diseases'. This is where infectious agents on their own do not necessarily cause an outbreak of the disease, but other factors such as poor ventilation, overcrowding and the movement of stock can all play a part. A further and all important factor that comes into play is tat of poor hygiene.  The problem can be controlled with the combination good management practices aimed at eliminating stress factors and the use of an effective and reliable disinfection regime to eliminate bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing organisms.

Cattle Vehicle Biosecurity Programs

Introduction

CalfThe importance of biosecurity for all vehicles cannot be stressed enough. This applies especially to livestock and feed vehicles, but also to any others visiting a farm. Livestock haulage and other vehicles, such as feed lorries, provide an excellent vector through which disease can spread. The following table illustrates some important examples, and includes details of the independently proven efficacy of the formulation of FarmCareGB’s Viru-Gard.

Infectious organism

Dilution rate

Foot & mouth disease virus

1:1300

E.Coli O157

1:200

Salmonella typhimurium DT104

1:200

Cleaning and disinfection must be carried out to minimise the possibility of transmission of disease such as these. FarmCareGB’s Transport Biosecurity program provides farmers and hauliers with step-by-step procedures to follow which if adhered to can help reduce disease transmission via transportation of livestock:

Vehicle Disinfection Summary

In addition to livestock haulage vehicles all vehicles e.g. feed lorries and contractors must follow this summary to reduce the potential for transmission of disease.

  • Only essential vehicles may enter the farm.
  • All vehicles visiting the farm should be kept outside the biosecurity perimeter if at all possible.
  • Vehicles should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using the Vehicle Biosecurity Program prior to arrival at the unit.
  • Wheels, tyres and wheel arches should be cleaned and disinfected upon arrival at the unit using wheel dips or sprays where provided.
  • Personnel should use footdips, protective clothing and observe Hand Hygiene requirements prior to entry to premises

Cleansing & Disinfecting Agents

Cleansing

 

 

Quat-Gard

Dilution:

1:500 (1 L in each 500 litres)1:250 for foam application

 

Rate:

500 ml/m²250 ml/m2 for foam application

Disinfection

 

 

Viru-Gard

Dilution:

1:100 (1 KG in each 100 litres)

 

Rate:

300 ml/m²

Vehicle Cleansing and Disinfection Procedures

Before undertaking the following biosecurity program please ensure that the person carrying out the procedure is wearing clean and disinfected protective clothing. Protective face visor and rubber gauntlets must be worn during the disinfection stage of this procedure.

STAGE 1. Dry Cleaning - Removing Organic Soiling

It is essential to remove all gross organic soiling from the vehicle as dung and refuse contain high levels of contamination and are a major source of infection. Using brushes, shovels, forks or a mechanical scraper ensure the following area's are covered:

Inside the Transporter

  • Starting at the top and working down, first scrape out all soiled bedding and refuse, then brush the floors, sidewalls and division gates of the trailer ensuring that any organic material is removed from feed and water delivery pipes.
  • Ensure that any gross organic material is removed from the tail lift/ramp and gates of the truck by scraping and brushing.

Outside the Transporter

  • Particular attention must be paid to the removal of organic material from the underside of the vehicle where deposits can build up. Using a stiff hand brush (or pressure washer where necessary), ensure that any deposits of mud, straw etc are removed from the wheels, wheel arches, tyres, mudguards and exposed chassis of the vehicle.
  • All soiled bedding and refuse should be disposed of in accordance with local guidelines.

STAGE 2. Cleaning & Sanitizing

Following the removal of the soiled bedding and refuse, high levels of infective material will still remain. Cleaning with Quat-Gard at a dilution of 1:500 for spraying or 1:250 for foaming will ensure that greasy deposits do not remain on any surfaces. Using a detergent such as Quat-Gard also reduces the time taken to clean by up to 60%, and reduces the spread of disease in the washing water.

Apply with either a knapsack sprayer or pressure washer using the appropriate application rate (500ml/sq.m for normal application 250ml/sq.m for foam application). If using a pressure washer, ensure that it is set on a low pressure setting (approx. 500 psi :35 bar) using a 45º angle jet.

  • Using the brush attachment for the pressure washer, start at the top and work down each side of the cab and trailer working the Quat-Gard solution into the surfaces and any orifices.
  • Using the lance attachment at low pressure apply Quat-Gard solution to the wheels, wheel arches, tyres, mudguards and underside of the vehicle.
  • Inside the trailer, starting at the top and working down to the bottom, ensure that the ceiling, sides, divisions and floors are all treated thoroughly.
  • Attention must be paid to the loading ramp and tail lift and gates.
  • Ensure that all equipment stored in the belly box of the vehicle such as shovel, brush, etc are removed and washed then apply Quat-Gard solution to the inside of the belly box.
  • Allow at least 10 minutes to for the detergent to penetrate and loosen the dirt from all surfaces before rinsing at high pressure.

It is essential to have removed all organic material before proceeding to the disinfection stage.

STAGE 3. DISINFECTION

The level of disease organisms, particularly viruses, present after cleaning and sanitizing is still high enough to offer a serious disease challenge. The use of a broad spectrum disinfectant such as Viru-Gard, active against viruses bacteria, yeasts, moulds and other pathogenic organisms and must be used to complete this effective disease control program.

Using FarmCareGB's Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1:100 solution (1KG in each 100 litres) and rate of 300 ml/sq.m at low pressure:

  • Outside of vehicle, start at the top and work down each side.
  • Ensure that special attention is paid to the wheel arches, tyres, mudguards and underside of the vehicle.
  • Inside the vehicle, starting at the top and working down, ensure that ceiling, sides, divisions and floors are disinfected thoroughly.
  • Attention must be paid to the loading ramp and tail gate lift.
  • Ensure that all washed equipment from the belly box of the vehicle such as shovel, brush, etc is sprayed or soaked in Viru-Gard.
  • Disinfect all internal surfaces of the belly box before returning disinfected equipment.

In very rare instances, Viru-Gard may affect untreated metals, inferior or damaged galvanised metals. In these cases we recommend rinsing these areas with clean water after disinfection ensuring a contact time of at least 5 minutes.

STAGE 4. Cleansing & Disinfecting the Cab

  • Remove all removable items from the cab of the vehicle including the floor mats; clothing, Wellington boots, etc, and then using a dustpan and brush remove any debris from within the cab and dispose of it into a refuse sack. Ensure that the foot pedals are free from any organic material.
  • Using a soft hand brush and a bucket of Quat-Gard solution at a dilution rate of 1:500 clean the cab floor, floor mats and foot pedals allowing at least 10 minutes for the detergent to penetrate and loosen the dirt before rinsing.
  • Using a clean cloth soaked in a solution of Viru-Gard at a dilution rate of 1:100 disinfect the cab floor, floor mats and foot pedals.
  • Ensure that all item packed back into the cab are clean.

Finally

  • Park the vehicle on a slope to drain and dry.
  • Once the vehicle is removed from the wash area, wash down the concrete surface with Quat-Gard solution making sure no muck or debris remains.
  • Wash & disinfect waterproof overalls and boots.

For environmental awareness take care to avoid any solutions entering surface water drains or water courses.