Defra-approved disinfectants are vital in farming and livestock management, as well as in veterinary use.

Where there is the outbreak of a notifiable disease, you must use a Defra-approved disinfectant, and you must use a Defra-approved disinfectant for routine disinfecting and cleaning of livestock transport and gathering and holding areas.

What is Defra?

Defra is the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is a government department, and it is responsible for protecting the environment, food production and  food standards. It is also responsible for agriculture and fisheries.

The department was formed in 2001, from the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) with part of the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions (DETR). Defra has absorbed some Home Office responsibilities too.

Defra develops and puts into place policies on the environment, food and rural issues. It also has responsibility for managing risk from animal and plant diseases, and from floods and other environmental emergencies.

The department’s Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) aims to safeguard animal and plant health. This includes the rapid control of pests or disease outbreaks in animals and plants.

Where there is the outbreak of a notifiable disease, you must inform APHA.

What is a Defra-approved Disinfectant?

When Defra approves a disinfectant, this is not a general product endorsement, but specific to the named product, its formulation and its approved concentration for use.

Defra approval reflects the efficacy of product, when it has been tested to Defra’s own test protocol.

This should be at the highest concentration that the product passes the test. This then becomes its approved dilution rate.

Disinfectant approval does not account for the product’s safety or toxicity, only its efficacy.

Therefore, if you use a Defra-approved disinfectant, you should take any necessary precautions for animal welfare.

When Must You Use a Defra-Approved Disinfectant?

The two main uses of a Defra-approved disinfectant are:

  • When there is an outbreak of a notifiable disease, and
  • During routine cleaning and disinfecting of livestock transport vehicles, abattoir vehicles, animal gathering areas such as markets, and animal holding areas.

The list of Defra-approved disinfectants shows which product to use, and what concentration of the product this use requires to meet Defra approval.

Concentrations are important, because they can vary for the same product when used for different diseases.

It is against the law to market and sell a disinfectant product as Defra-approved if the product has not been tested and listed.

What Makes a Disinfectant Defra-approved?

For Defra to approve a product, it must conform to the Biocidal Products Directive and pass efficacy tests in a Defra laboratory.

The Diseases of Animals (Approved Disinfectants) (England) Order 2007 is the Government legislation that underpins the Defra approval scheme.

It is important that any product applying for Defra approval, gets tested at the desired dilution to meet this approval.

Dilution is an important aspect of the safe and effective use of disinfectants. An incorrectly diluted disinfectant may not be as effective as it should.

If over-diluted, a disinfectant may leave some germs and bacteria alive, but used at full strength it might inflict harm, or leave a film residue on the surface you apply it to.

Why Is Defra Approval Important?

For maintaining good biosecurity, it is essential to use Defra-approved disinfectants.

There are also specific disease orders, where you must use Defra-approved disinfectants. These orders cover:

  • Diseases of Poultry, including avian flu
  • Diseases of swine
  • Foot and mouth disease
  • Tuberculosis.

Defra may also issue an order to control the outbreak of a notifiable disease not included in its general orders.

Defra-Approved Oxyl-Pro for Livestock

Oxyl-Pro Pollo is a Defra-approved disinfectant for use with livestock. It disinfects drinking water, work surfaces and equipment.

Based on a unique, food-safe stabilisation method, Oxyl-Pro is a hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant that eliminates and prevents biofilm, and provides clean and safe water supplies for animals.

It has no smell, colour or taste at recommended dose rates, and is highly effective against E coli and campylobacter.

For more information about Oxyl-Pro Pollo, or the complete Oxyl-Pro product range, please complete our contact form, call us on +44 1606 851 782, or email