Biosecurity on pig farms: Bath is more effective than a shower

31-03-2011 | |

Taking a bath of about 15 minutes using a mild disinfection product, would be better for biosecurity on pig farms than taking a shower, the Dutch agricultural magazine Boerderij reports.

The weekly magazine’s website quotes research from the Swine Research Farm (VIC) in Sterksel, the Netherlands, where a hygiene trial was carried out earlier this year. A hygiene corridor was created, using a bath with various concentrations of Dettol antibacterial soap. First conclusions yield that a SPF health status is maintained substantially longer when visitors are required to take a bath. This would include getting a ducking as that way also the hairs can be disinfected.
It was shown that only the unharmful bacteria get washed away when taking a shower; true pathogens, however, will survive the shower session. Taking a bath, however, did deal properly with pathogens. The researchers could established this after skin and hair tests of visitors, before and after taking a shower.
Fake sense of security
A spokesman was quoted to say: “Taking a quick shower provides a fake sense of security. Do compare it to the use of cheap industrial masks – they may keep out the larger dust particles that would end up in one’s nasal mucosal membrane anyway. The harmful, respiratory dust particle will penetrate.”
It was added that preferably, visitors ought to be kept out of the pig houses. This has become more important now the Netherlands has stepped up its targets to reduce the amounts of used antibiotics.
The research centre, part of Wageningen University and Research Centre’s Livestock Research department, says it is early days yet and will not push for compulsory bath facilities all pig farms, as there are simply too few practical data. In ten pig farms, however, baths will be installed and results will be monitored.