Biosecurity: How to Practice Biosecurity on Your Pig Farm

Monday, August 29, 2016

Guest Post by Emmanuel Mwesige

Biosecurity means doing everything possible to protect the health of your pigs by preventing the transmission of disease. An outbreak of animal disease could not only harm your pigs, but it could affect nearby animals and quickly spread through your area. The economic consequences of a disease outbreak could be devastating.

Taking common sense precautions to prevent diseases from entering your farm is the best investment you can make. I urge you to evaluate your disaster prevention practices and develop habits that will protect you, your farming operation, and the general public.

Biosecurity requires the adoption of a set attitudes and behaviours by farmers to reduce risk in all activities involving domestic, captive/exotic and wild animals and their products.

The Benefits of Biosecurity in Pig Farming
  • Helps to prevent diseases from occurring on your farm  and those on your farm from spreading to other farms, e.g. diseases such as African swine fever, etc.
  • Reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases becoming established; limits the occurrence and spread of disease and helps protect your neighbours, public health, and the farming areas.
  • Improves overall pig health cutting the costs of disease treatment and reducing losses, which could improve the profitability of your farm.
Biosecurity Measures on a Pig Farm

Make these simple steps part of your daily routine to decrease the risk of your pigs getting sick.
  • Restrict access to your property and your pigs. Consider fencing off the area where your pigs are to form a barrier between “clean” and “dirty” areas. The clean area is the immediate area surrounding your pigs, and the dirty area or buffer area must be considered to be infected with germs, even if the pigs appear healthy and disease free.
You can also put labels in place restricting access to your property. Below are illustrations of such labels.

  • Schedule and accompany all farm visitors. Limit areas to be visited. Allow only people who take care of your pigs to come into direct contact with them. Your caretakers should not attend pig shows or events where pigs are present.  If visitors to your property want to see your pigs, be sure they wash up first and clean their shoes. Better yet, keep clean boots for visitors to wear. Better still; know each visitor’s exposure to animals for the past four days.
  • Maintain a log of visitors and vehicles that enter the farm.
  • If trucks cannot be avoided on the farm level, clean and disinfect them prior to entrance. Spray the wheels, tires, and wheel wells prior to leaving premises. Such a label as shown in the picture below can be put in place to notify any unauthorized truck on the farm and if biosecurity checks are in place, this should be clearly stated on the label.

  •  Wear clean, disinfected boots when visiting other farms and stockyards. Sanitize all equipment and trailers between visits.
  • If you have any footbaths, they must be inspected daily (e.g. for excessive organic matter) and the contents replaced as required to achieve an adequate concentration of suitable disinfectant used according to company or manufacturers recommendations. Foot baths should be used when entering and exiting pig houses.

  • Do not feed pigs feed containing animal by-products.
  • Isolate all new pigs by at least 300 yards from your other pigs for 21 days. Test them before they are added to the other pig stock. Maintain strict entry and exit sanitation for all personnel in the isolation area.
  • Remove and promptly dispose of dead pigs. (Bury compost, incinerate or have removed.)
  • Keep pets out of confined feeding facilities.
  • Be aware of all wildlife and pet movements, when possible.
  • Control rodents and flies thoroughly.
  • Educate yourself and train your employees to recognise and report diseases. When all your employees know what to look for in sick pigs they can report it, A  reporting system allows those in charge to make treatment decisions or decide if the veterinarian should be contacted. Early identification of serious diseases can help minimize the risk of disease spread on your farm. If unusual illness or signs are noticed, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Provide a phone number at the farm entrance for visitors to call and make an appointment. Biosecurity measures can be explained at that time and posted near the phone number for all to see.
Disinfectants that can be used on your pig farm


Every day the demand for food keeps growing on a global scale. Preventing and fighting disease outbreaks and providing a clean environment are therefore essential in keeping livestock healthy.

Dexid-400 works effectively against a large variety of micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. Improved hygiene and animal health will subsequently lead to better production results.

As animal husbandry housing and hatcheries grow, so does the risk of the outbreak of contagious diseases. Dexid-400 can be used to disinfect animal housing, transport trucks, transport equipment, trailers, storage rooms, processing rooms and boot dips.

Synergistic combination

Dexid-400 is a concentrated broad spectrum disinfectant for surfaces and equipment. It is a synergistic blend of four active components with long lasting effect and a wide range of applications, including spraying, foaming and fogging.

It combines the powerful broad spectrum activity ofglutaraldehyde with the soil penetrating, deterging and rapid biocidal capacity of quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs).

{Editor's Note: In Zimbabwe you can buy Dexid-400 and your biosecurity requirements from Fivet Animal Health.}

Dexid-400 contains:
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Isopropanol
  • Pine oil
  • Dexid-400 is suitable for use on all surfaces including soft metals.
  • Dexid-400 is biodegradable.
  • Performs well in soft and hard water conditions and in
    the presence of organic matter.
Dexid-400 is s suitable for spraying, foaming and fogging applications.

Directions of use
  • Clean the surfaces with a proper detergent first, rinse and allow to dry.
  • Disinfect with a contact time of at least 20 minutes
  • Areas should be rinsed thoroughly and allowed to dry before animals are returned to the area.
  • Animal husbandry housing and hatcheries: After rinsing and drying, apply Dexid-400 at 0.25% (no specific disease; 1:400) to 0.5% (disease outbreaks; 1:200) by spraying (ca. 1 l of solution per 4 m2). For fogging use 1l + 4 l of water for 1000 m3.
  • Animal transport trucks and trailers: After rinsing and drying, spray Dexid-400 at 0.5% (1:200). For wheel, rinses apply Dexid-400 at 0.5%.
  • Storage and processing rooms for feed and food: After rinsing and drying, apply 0.25 – 0.5% Dexid-400.
  • Transport equipment for foodstuffs: After rinsing and drying, apply Dexid-400 at 0.25 – 0.5%.
Boot dips: Dilute Dexid-400 at 0.5% and renew regularly (every 2-3 days; daily for best results).

About the Author

Emmanuel Mwesige is based in Uganda. He is an accountant by day. He is passionate about farming and writing.You can reach him by phone at +256704004263 or +256778954346 or by email at

Disclaimer: while Emerging Farmer does everything to ensure the accuracy of our guides, it is important to contact an agronomist or your Agritex officer for accurate recommendations for your farm. Emerging farmer takes no responsibility for any losses or damage incurred due to information in this guide.


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