Personnel and visitors
Alberta Pork wants to help you stay biosecure—it’s our top priority. We must do everything we can to prevent disease from entering Alberta producers’ barns, which is why we perform biosecurity assessments for all producers free-of-charge.
Did you know that viruses can survive on clothing for quite a long time—long enough to make an international journey to your farm? If you or any of your workers travel outside of Canada, it is recommended they have downtime before re-entering the barn.
Do you currently have a policy for downtime and decontamination of staff or visitors who have travelled outside Canada? How about a policy for staff and visitor clothing?
Consider the following:
Policies for downtime and decontamination
Alberta Pork biosecurity assessments performed in 2011—2012 show that about 80 per cent of the premises assessed had a downtime and decontamination policy in place, but during the 2017 assessments, this number fell to under 60 per cent and a “not applicable” category was created.
Creating a downtime and decontamination policy for your operation is important. By knowing where your staff and visitors have been, you can responsibly manage their access and reduce the potential for disease to enter your barn.
Policies for staff clothing
Alberta Pork biosecurity assessments performed in 2011—2012 showed that close to 58 per cent of the premises assessed had a policy for staff clothing in place, and during the 2017 assessments, this number rose to over 70 per cent.
On the side of proactive measures against disease, all workers should have barn-exclusive clothing that does not leave a premise, to prevent contaminants from entering or leaving the farm. Clothing should be laundered daily. This is made easier by having a washing machine and dryer on-site that are used only for cleaning barn-exclusive clothing, not household laundry.
At a minimum, all premises should include a Danish entry for workers, to ensure staff are prompted to change into barn-exclusive clothing prior to entering the restricted-access zone (RAZ). Learn more about the Danish entry system.
Policies for visitor clothing
Alberta Pork biosecurity assessments performed in 2011—2012 showed that nearly 70 per cent of the premises assessed had a policy for visitor clothing in place, and during the 2017 assessments, this number rose slightly to over 70 per cent.
Visitors can present a greater risk for contamination than staff, since visitors may or may not be aware of biosecurity principles in general, let alone your farm’s specific protocols.
All visitors, including truck drivers, should be required to enter your RAZ through a Danish entry. They should be provided with clothing and footwear that is treated in a similar manner to staff clothing.
Addressing these issues on your farm is imperative to biosecurity. If you would like to receive free biosecurity signing from Alberta Pork, or if you would like us to perform a free biosecurity assessment at your farm, contact Javier Bahamon (780-469-8982).