THE MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL
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Farm Personnel

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Observance of farm biosecurity protocols by employees is critical to the health of animals on the farm and a major consideration to internal biosecurity measures. Individuals without a reason to be on the farm should not be allowed access to the herd or any buildings on the farm. Employees should remove their street clothes and shoes on arrival at the farm, shower thoroughly, and dress in work clothes and footwear provided by the farm for on-farm use only. If showering immediately before entering the farm is not possible, then employees should be required to shower at home, remove their street clothes and shoes on arrival at the farm, and dress in work clothes and footwear provided by the farm for on-farm use only. Individuals such as service personnel that may need to access the farm should follow the same requirements for entry. Movement of equipment in and out of buildings should be kept to a minimum, and equipment that employees and service personnel may require inside buildings should be cleaned and disinfected.

Daily laundering of soiled work clothes and cleaning and disinfection of footwear should be part of the required process of maintaining a satisfactory level of hygiene on the farm. Clean work attire reduces the chance of tracking pathogens throughout the farm and the risk of contaminating previously cleaned facilities. Other considerations include strategic placement of hygiene stations for decontaminating hands and footwear. Foot baths are not a viable means of decontaminating footwear and may promote greater contamination of footwear if not properly maintained. Finally, employees and visitors may be required to stay away from the herd from 12–72 hr after they have had contact with other animals.

Last full review/revision July 2011 by Darryl Ragland, DVM, PhD

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