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Perimeter biosecurity

I've been asked to forecast what a pig farm perimeter might look like a couple of decades into the future. Starting from a a excellent suggestion by the PIC company that it should be divided into 'clean' and 'dirty' sectors, I have taken things somewhat further.

My 'dirty' sector is from 'A' on the plan to 'B', see Figure 1 below. It is where most of the coming and going takes place. On a larger farm this could take up the whole of one side rather than the 'L'-shaped layout shewn, which I guess better suits a smaller-sized unit.


Notice that the staff's feet and clothes as well as their vehicles are strictly confined to the 'clean' sector ('C' to 'B') away from the wheel and underbody contamination from all other vehicles visiting the farm.


Vehicles
In Britain, our Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks of several years ago taught us how vehicles visiting a farm can spread disease and that the feet of the farm staff and their vehicles wheels should never traverse the same ground as outside vehicles and people. 


I suggest all producers should study the concept and not leave it 'to the future'. Anyone building anew will of course find little difficulty in following the suggestions. Even those with existing layouts should think hard about how to alter their perimeter groundplan into separate 'clean' and 'dirty' access areas, if needs be over a period of alterations.


Figure 1. A biosecure layout minimising contamination, modified from a PIC Company suggestion. Copyright by John Gadd, 2009.



Photo

8 comments

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    Arch Shepherd

    On the visitor side of things. If they are to enter the unit they should go through the shower area as well.

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    John Gadd

    No Arch, with respect, keep the visitors away from the staff showers! So this will mean that in the biosecure farm of the future, visitors - if they are ever allowed in at all and this is increasingly rare on the big 'professional' units of today - will have to have their own showers at what ever entrance for them is chosen. a future cost which will have to be built-in.
    And never mingle their cars with the staff's cars. Even if visitors have taken the trouble to be 'clean' (fresh clothing, a shower at home before the visit and not having visited inside another pig unit for three days previously - which rules I myself follow in my work) my car wheels, wheel arches and underside are far from clean, possibly having travelled over all sorts of contamination on my way to the farm. Which is why I always leave my car outside the farm gate and walk.
    I shudder at how lax vehicle security is on the typical pig farm these days.

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    John Gibson

    Hi John, I assume that all equipment, spare parts, other items coming onto the farm go through some sort of disinfection process - fumigation or whatever? I would also presume that small quantities bagged feed - such as creep feed - are emptied from the original supplier bag so the original bag not allowed onto the farm?

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    Bonnie

    Your design is a good one and with some thought it probably could be implemented with the existing barns that most of us work in. The major problem is as anything, money. Does "upper management" want to put that type of money into the business of bio-security? One would think they would, instead we trust that the feed company and other trucks having to enter the property washed thier wheels and undercarriage properly. Our employee parking and where the trucks come in are one of the same. We do have a good bio-security programme implemented, but we are only as good as the people who adhere to it. Any new barns could benefit to this design.

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    John Gadd

    John Gibson.
    I know of no work putting figures to the effectiveness or otherwise to fumigating/disinfecting of gear entering the farm. Or of `double-bagging` feed, though it is sometimes done for the really expensive stuff. Until we do get such evidence on which to base an opinion, it must alwys be a trade-off between security, feasibility and cost.


    Bonnie.
    Over the next 10 years if viral threat continues at the pace it has done over the past 10 then I guess producers will have to plan ahead for such extra costs.
    As to your second point, and at the risk of upsetting my good and hardworking friends in the feed and seedstock supply trades - I wouldn`t count on it. Especially as the pigs-to-be-shipped collection vehicles seem to be the worst offenders in despatching trucks with filthy undersides to the farms where I happened to be doing pig feed supplement trials. After we had weighed the pigs to be shipped I passed the time before breakfast by looking underneath with a torch and half had obviously not been cleaned recently due to congealed detritus.
    But I have made suggestions in my 'Pig Production Problems' textbook (page 448 et seq) as to a protocol routine involving a clearance certificate signed by a biosecurity transport manager at the contractor's depot after 'tunnel sanitation' between loads. I'm not for unnecessary legislation, but this sort of thing is overdue, I think, even though I'll get shot for saying it as the hauliers are struggling at the moment, sure enough!
    By 10 years time it will be EU law, I guess.

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    Bonnie

    Regarding trucks picking up our piglets or culls sows, we do sprinkle stalosan on the loadout area and after they are gone we wash and disinfect the loadout as soon as possible. We hope that this will help prevent anything entering our barn during the loading of piglets and culls. Always working towards the safety of our barn

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    Simon Jean-Jacques

    Bonjour John,
    The idea is really good at he beginning as you said but I have some comments on it.
    As I work several years on different type of production sites and several countries, experience show me that in your drawing you should keep office and shower closer to:
    * reduce cost,
    * increase control.
    Also you haven't included quarantine area, why? This should be by the unloading ramp.
    Then my last remark will be about trees... you may have be careful for the inside ventilation by the time as trees became big.
    I hope my comment will help. If you need more details I'm available at botam-fr@orange.fr

    Regards,
    Jean-Jacques Simon for BOTAM-fr

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    John Gadd

    Et bonjour a vous Jean-Jacques!
    1. I take your point about the office and shower being closer. Accepted - thanks for this.
    2. No, the quarantine area should be off-farm and in future it must be so. By off-farm I mean well away and looked after separately. Separate equipment and the stockpersons showering completely between every visit to the quarantine unit and the existing herd, and especially from the quarantine unit back to the herd. Quarantining as you know, is not the same as Induction which can be inside the farm - or better, alongside it. Quarantining is a 3-day? (although the vets would like it to be longer) period where all incoming stock are kept well clear of the herd and inspected at least twice daily for any signs of disease and locomotor trouble which may have been caused by the stress of transport and change of scene. This precaution helps contain disease should it occur. Induction is the planned, gradual and patient merging of any pathogens the newcomers may harbour, and to which they are immune, with the same circumstances in the existing herd. Induction should be supervised by a pig vet who knows the disease pattern and level of the host herd and that of the source of the new introductions.
    3. Yes, trees can interfere with airflow across the buildings especially in summer. If so, keep them pruned.

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