Biosecurity Measures for Farms

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Biosecurity Measures for Farms

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WSDA recommends that livestock producers take the following biosecurity measures to prevent highly infectious animal diseases in their livestock.

Limit nonessential traffic on the farm.

Post a sign at the entrance instructing visitors to check in at a central location, such as the farm house. Instruct drivers of essential vehicles, such as feed or milk trucks, to drive only where they need to go.

Require livestock and feed haulers to clean and disinfect their vehicles 

before hauling livestock or feed to or from your operation.

Know who is on your farm or ranch at all times.

Keep a record of all deliveries and visitors. If an highly infectious animal disease occurs on your farm, this information will help with follow-up investigations.

Have one combined entrance and exit.

If no one is available to monitor visitors, develop a system for them to sign in so that all visits can be monitored. Display the telephone number at the entrance so individuals can call and make appointments to see the owner or manager.

Limit access of nonessential people.

Unauthorized visitors should not be allowed to come in contact with farm animals. If your livestock business depends on visitors, such as petting farms, ensure that visitors have not been in countries where diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease have recently occurred.

Provide disinfectant and appropriate disposable footwear.

Essential and authorized visitors, such as veterinarians and dairy inspectors, should wear outer garments or coveralls and disinfect their boots before entering the animal areas and before exiting the farm.

Develop and enforce a policy for family members and employees who visit other livestock facilities.

Persons who leave the farm should change their clothes before they go to another farm. Upon returning to your farm, they should change their clothes (including caps) and wash their hands and face before handling your animals.

Be careful when you buy livestock.

If you add or replace an animal be sure it is from a reputable dealer and purchased in the United States, Canada or other country approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Get a health certificate for all animals entering your premises. Isolate new stock for two weeks for observation.

Use separate equipment for healthy and sick animals.

Prevent contact between healthy animals and those suffering from illness. Feed, water and treat healthy animals before working with sick animals.

Be careful where you buy feed and equipment.

Buy only from reputable dealers. Buy only feed produced in the United States and used equipment that was not shipped from other countries. Clean and disinfect animal handling facilities and equipment.

Keep dogs, cats, and other animals confined to the farm.

Do not feed or encourage wildlife to come onto your farm. Deer and elk are susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease and are difficult to control if your farm or an adjacent farm should become infected. Dogs, cats and horses can serve as mechanical carriers of disease.

Control rodents and insects.

Work with a reputable pest control company to establish and maintain an effective pest control program. Keep insects, rodents and birds out of feed storage. They can carry diseases and may serve as a reservoir of infection.

Keep livestock away from raw household waste, bones or swill.

Food waste used as livestock feed is required to be fully cooked before feeding to swine. Contact USDA for guidelines on handling food waste.

Call your veterinarian immediately if you observe unusual disease symptoms in livestock.

Your veterinarian and state or federal veterinarians can help diagnose and prevent a disease from spreading.