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Biosecurity & good hygiene

Biosecurity literally means ‘safe life’. If you work or come into contact with farm animals, biosecurity means taking steps to make sure that good hygiene practices are in place. This will help prevent the spread of animal disease.

Good biosecurity is a vital part of keeping new disease away from animals. It also helps to improve farm efficiency, protect neighbouring farms and the countryside.

The message is simple:

  • Disease may not always be apparent, especially in the early stages;
  • Be clean, particularly if handling animals or moving between different premises.
  • A good biosecurity routine is always essential – not just when there is a major disease outbreak

Guidance for all livestock keepers

  • Biosecurity guidance (PDF 267 KB) for anybody who comes into contact with or visits premises with farm animals. The guidance has been published as part of the Government’s requirement under the Animal Health Act 2002.

Defra and farming organisations have also put together the following publications:

Guidance for poultry keepers

Review of the Poultry Catching Industry in England and Wales

Defra and the Food Standards Agency have jointly funded a review of the poultry catching industry, paying particular attention to biosecurity practice. Catching teams are involved in depopulating birds from broiler, egg laying, turkey and duck farms, often visiting more than one site per day, and therefore have an important role to play in minimising the risk of spreading diseases such as avian influenza and Campylobacter. Completion of the review has been followed by a biosecurity education campaign for catching teams. When the education campaign comes to an end on 31 January 2007 the majority of catching teams working either for integrated companies or specialised catching businesses will have received training.

Further information

Page last modified: September 9, 2009