What is the best way of keeping your farm clean?

There are various options for farmers when it comes to sanitisers and disinfectants, and DEFRA has a list of approved disinfectants.

The main issue with cleanliness on farms is dealing with animal faeces, but it is also important to ensure that you maintain a high level of cleanliness in other areas, such as disinfecting water for livestock safely and effectively.

Why is hygiene critical on farms?

For livestock to be profitable, hygiene is vital. Hygiene systems on livestock premises must protect animals during birth, breeding and feeding.

Preventing and controlling disease in livestock depends on actions such as veterinary investigations, quarantine and treatment, but it also depends on maintaining a healthy environment through cleaning and disinfection.

With modern, intensive farming methods, high density and productivity can increase the likelihood of infections occurring.

Is there an ideal disinfectant for farms?

There is no magic bullet when it comes to the best sanitiser or disinfectant for on-farm usage.

There is no single, unique chemical or method that will match all the different sources of contamination that there are.

Therefore, farmers have to make choices, depending on their needs:

  • What germs are they disinfecting against?
  • Which surfaces or substances require disinfecting?
  • How often should disinfecting occur, and in what way?

For example, in dairy farms, there is an imperative to reduce bacteria in the immediate surroundings of livestock, which means cleaning surfaces, bedding and equipment.

The milking area needs continual disinfecting, at least twice a day. Calf pens and other areas also require disinfectant.

Other key areas are feeding and drinking.

The infectious pressure will increase with the accumulation of bacteria and viruses in the environment.

There is also people hygiene to consider. Where farmers and other workers are in direct contact with animals and equipment, they can transmit pathogens.

Therefore, suitable hand sanitisers and hand-washing facilities for people are also essential components in hygiene systems on farms.

Bacteria are all around. They exist in soil, on animals and humans and in water. The objective of disinfection and sanitisation is to decrease the pressure of infection. This then brings down the prevalence of disease.

To do this effectively, farmers must choose a disinfectant that is specially adapted for each situation.

What determines the effectiveness of disinfection?

Microorganisms will vary in their sensitivity to disinfectants. Generally bacteria are more sensitive than fungi or viruses. Bacterial spores, on the other hand, are the most resistant micro-organisms.

On farms,  disinfection is an essential element of control if a disease can be transmitted through contaminated housing, feed or water. For example, disinfection is an essential element in the control of foot and mouth disease (FMD).

How long causal micro-organisms survive outside the host also determines to what extent you will require disinfectant.

Some bacteria and viruses, such as salmonella, can survive several months. Bacillus anthracis spores can last years.

Many micro-organisms will survive days or weeks, so disinfection is essential to remove them from any surfaces and materials that could come into contact with animals that are susceptible.

Environmental conditions can also determine how long micro-organisms survive outside the host body.

These conditions include the nature of the surface, temperature and relative humidity.

What types of sanitiser product are best for farms?

As we have mentioned earlier in this blog, different types of sanitiser or disinfectant will be best-suited for different functions, addressing specific hygiene issues.

There should be detergents and disinfectants for cleaning milking systems and milk cooling systems tested to EN 1276 standards.

You should apply special formulated disinfectants and surface disinfectants to cattle pens and other animal housing areas. These should be bactericidal, fungicidal, viricidal and mycobactericidal.

Choose a cleaner for tractors, equipment and surfaces which contains an active chlorine element. There is also a range of ecological cleaners available.

For hygiene in washrooms, common areas and for personal hygiene, provide hand sanitiser, hand washes for heavy soiling, and soap and water facilities.

DEFRA categorises different disinfectants for use in combatting notifiable diseases, and for routine cleaning and disinfecting.

Hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant

It is important to decontaminate and disinfect livestock water supplies as part of on-farm sanitisation.

There are different, DEFRA-approved chemical water treatments available for this.

These include chlorine dioxide and silver peroxide products.

However, there is also an alternative to both, Oxyl-Pro. While this is hydrogen peroxide-based, it stabilises this chemical using only food-safe ingredients.

This makes it an extremely safe disinfectant and decontamination agent.

It provides rapid and effective destruction of microorganisms and biofilms, using a unique encapsulation process which minimises waste.

As a highly versatile disinfectant, Oxyl-Pro also disinfects air and oxygenates compacted soils. You can use it to disinfect surfaces and machinery too.

On-farm sanitisation solutions

Modern farms and farming require modern sanitisation solutions to minimise the risk of contamination.

These solutions will vary depending on application, as well as the size and nature of the farm.

They should also be DEFRA-approved and compliant with environmental and safety regulations.

There is a disinfectant approval process you can apply for, should you have a product requiring assessment.For more information about our unique, DEFRA-approved Oxyl-Pro livestock water treatment, please complete our contact form, call us on +44 1606 851 782, or send an email to enquiries@oxylpro.com