On-Farm Biosecurity For Farm Visitation

The updated precautions have been divided into categories by degree of risk.

  • Low Risk Visit - Visiting farm with no direct contact with livestock, feed, or livestock equipment.
  • Moderate Risk Visit - Visiting farm with no direct contact with livestock but direct contact with feed and livestock equipment.
  • High Risk Visit - Direct contact with livestock.

All Visits - Low, Medium or High

  1. Make sure your vehicle is clean inside and out at all times - except of course for that visit's accumulation.
  2. Wear clean clothing and clean washable or disposable footwear.
  3. Maintain a detailed log of all livestock farm visits.
  4. Park vehicle in a clean dry area, preferably on a hard surface with no obvious manure. Avoid exhaust fans from livestock areas. Close all windows to prevent insects from entering the car.
  5. Follow the farm's biosecurity plan if they have one.
  6. Wash soiled hands and footwear before leaving - if disposable footwear leave on farm (best) or take back in garbage receptacle.
  7. If taking people from another country or province on to a Manitoba livestock operation, ensure they have not been in contact with livestock for 72 hours before hand.

Moderate or High Risk

  1. Wear clean coveralls, or other protective outer wear, and clean washable foot wear at each farm visited. Rubber boots or rubber overshoes are preferred.
  2. If the farm provides boots and protective outer wear, use it. In this situation, it would be recommended to cover shoes/boots with 1 pair of plastic over boots when walking from your vehicle to the farm door.
  3. If plastic over boots are to be worn throughout the farm, make sure that 2 pair are put on. This decreases the risk of tearing or punctures.
  4. Clean and disinfect your shoes/boots thoroughly when you arrive and when you leave a farm - cleaning when you arrive may seem overcautious but it assures the producer they are clean.
  5. When on farm, avoid walking in feed areas or watering areas.
  6. On leaving the farm, scrub boots and all equipment that is washable with clean water, a brush and detergent. Rinse and apply disinfectant. If possible, leave the disinfectant on.
  7. For sensitive equipment that can not be washed, wipe down with a damp, paper towel. Follow up with a second paper towel dampened with disinfectant.
  8. Scrub hands, including fingernails, thoroughly with detergent before leaving the farm. When possible, wear disposable gloves. This will make hand washing more effective.
  9. If possible, leave contaminated materials on the farm.
  10. Remove dirty outerwear before entering your vehicle. Store in garbage bags or in plastic bins with lids for appropriate laundering. Plastic bins do not rip and are easy to wash.
  11. Many disinfectants degrade over time. Make sure your disinfectant is fresh. For example, Virkon is usually only good for 1 week (or when it goes from pink to clear) once it is mixed in solution.
  12. At the end of the day:
    1. Remove any contaminated material from the designated "dirty" area of the vehicle.
    2. Clean "dirty" area and floor mats by vacuum or brush out any organic matter, then disinfect so that the entire vehicle is "clean."
    3. Wash vehicle regularly, preferably with a power wash with special attention to tires and wheel wells.

High Risk

  1. Attempt to move from youngest animal groups to oldest animal groups.
  2. When equipment, boots and/or outer clothing becomes very dirty, take time to clean or change before moving to the next animal group on the farm.
  3. Only enter barns/pens that are essential for you to enter. Only have direct contact with the animals or groups of animals that it is essential for you to have contact with

Vehicle Equipment for Moderate or High Risk Visits

  1. Divide the vehicle into "clean" (e.g. interior passenger area) and "dirty" compartments (e.g. trunk). Never enter the "clean" compartment with soiled footwear or clothing. The vehicle is considered "clean" at the start of the day and a "dirty" compartment is designated for soiled materials after the first farm visit.
  2. Rubber (washable) floor mats are required for each person in the car or truck.
  3. A single piece of rubber or heavy plastic liner, which can be removed for cleaning and disinfection, is required to cover the whole trunk or truck box. Large plastic containers are placed on the liner as equipment carriers.

Farm Equipment Kit for Moderate or High Risk Visits

  1. Clean coveralls and boots that are easily disinfected and do not collect organic debris. Boots with narrow deep treads should be avoided. Consider purchasing nylon coveralls for use in wet, dirty conditions. Although not completely waterproof, they are less permeable than cotton and are less apt to soak through. They are also windproof, and light, and stand up well in the washing machine. They can be damaged in the dryer but they do air dry quickly
  2. Winter parka (if worn) made of moisture resistant fabric they should be restricted to use on a single premises per day and cleaned/sponged with disinfectant solution before re-use. Consider a three-in-one jacket with detachable shell made of nylon, and an inner liner of nylon and polypropylene. These stand up well to frequent washing.
  3. If required, plastic non-permeable tool box that can be easily cleaned and disinfected and contains all testing equipment.
  4. If required, sharps container that is disposable or readily disinfected.
  5. Protective equipment, e.g. disposable gloves, and polyethylene bags to store used coveralls and contaminated material.
  6. For proper cleaning of boots and equipment and to avoid biofilms: a stainless steel pail, a boot brush, a detergent and a disinfectant are essential. Boot brushes are normally 11 cm x 11 cm (4" x 4"). Do not use a larger brush. Plastic pails can be used - see point 11.
  7. Detergents can be any common dish detergent. They may double as a hand cleaner.
  8. Examples of disinfectants: Quaternary ammonium, (Quatsyl, Ascend), sodium hypochlorite (Bleach), concentrated hydrogen peroxide (Peroxiguard), peroxymonosulfate (Virkon). Pick one, use it according to label and know the MSDS information. Remember that most disinfectants require at least a 2 minute contact time to be effective.
  9. If water is not provided on site, bring at least four liters.
  10. Testing equipment, including plastic/metal clipboard and cover, forms, etc., is kept "clean" until used on a premise.
  11. All plastic equipment, carriers, etc. should be replaced regularly as any deep scratches cannot be readily cleaned and disinfected.


For more information, or if you suspect any animal health related concerns, please contact the Chief Veterinary Office or call 204-945-7663 in Winnipeg.