Appendix 2 - Visits to livestock farms in the absence of an outbreak of notifiable animal disease
1. 'Livestock farm' means premises where:
- Notifiable disease susceptible livestock are present as a commercial concern or kept as pets;
- Such animals were present in the four weeks preceding the visit or will be introduced in the next four weeks;
- The parts of the farm to be visited have been treated with manure or other products from susceptible animals in the preceding four weeks.
2. The risk of spreading disease varies with the degree of exposure to animals and their products; hence the measures required should take into account the nature of the visit.
3. However, FOD does not expect or anticipate that inspectors will normally come into close or direct contact with livestock. Unnecessary contact with animals should be avoided and visiting staff should neither handle animals nor routinely go into livestock enclosures or other buildings (eg poultry sheds) unless it is absolutely necessary for the purpose of their visit.
4. Suitable protective clothing should be worn at all farm visits that involve entering areas where livestock are present or to which they normally have access. The type of PPE/RPE required depends on the nature the visit, eg the protection required for a visit to a poultry farm or a dairy herd would differ from that required for a visit to an extensive unit on moorland.
Additional biosecurity measures
5. In addition to the general biosecurity measures listed earlier in this guidance, FOD staff should:
- 1. Take sufficient water, disinfectant and disinfecting equipment on the visit, even if facilities for disinfecting clothes, footwear, equipment or vehicles are thought to be available on the premises;
- 2. As a minimum, wear suitable waterproof footwear (eg wellington boots), which should be cleaned immediately before and after the visit with disinfectant;
- 3. If the visit includes areas where there are livestock, standard issue disposable overalls should be used. These must only be used once and then be properly disposed of at either the farm, or be bagged and disposed of on return to the office (see para 10(j) for further details);
- 4. If, in exceptional cases, an inspector anticipates it is likely they will come into close or direct contact with susceptible animals then standard issue waterproof protective clothing should be worn. This should be cleaned and disinfected before entering and, where possible, leaving the farm;
- 5. If it is necessary to enter a building that requires RPE (eg it contains poultry or their faecal material) then RPE respirators (FFP3) should also be used. Disposable respirators must only be used once and then be properly disposed of at either the farm, or be bagged and disposed of on return to the office. Non-disposable respirators should be cleaned before their next use (see para 10(e) for further details).