by Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate
One day, I had someone with no farm background visiting me at the farm. When my husband came home from the dairy barn, I made a comment about how he was going to shower before joining us.
She asked if this was something he did every time he came in from the barn. On our dairy farm, that isn’t always necessary but many farms do require farmers to shower both before entering and before leaving the barn. In these cases, showers are often built right into the barns. This is called biosecurity and farmers use biosecurity measures to protect their animals from outside germs and bacteria in a variety of ways. In many types of barns, a strict biosecurity protocol is required by the industry’s on farm food safety programs and audits are done to ensure that the rules are followed.
Here is a small excerpt from “The Real Dirt on Farming II” (available here) about biosecurity on the farm.
A dress code for the barn?
Did you say shower before you go into a barn? Some farmers might ask you to take a shower or wear overalls and plastic boots over your shoes before entering. Other farms don’t allow any visitors at all—people or animals. Any guesses why? This is called “biosecurity” and it is one part of an animal health program that helps to keep our herds or flocks healthy. Not allowing visitors into the barn helps to keep germs or sickness out. Farmers can give their livestock medicine when they’re sick, but they always prefer prevention over treatment.
Keeping the animals healthy is important for everyone. Farmers want to be sure the animals are receiving the best care possible. Because of this, farmers have to have strict sanitation practices on their farms and know who is entering the barns. It is much easier to protect against germs when you know which ones are present and where they are coming from.
Posted by FFC on December 9th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Animal health,Food safety
Tags :: animal care, Biosecurity
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