East Yorkshire pig producer Ed Rowbottom is using colour-coded clothing to help improve on-farm biosecurity, a move which he says is working well.
“Before entering our nursery unit, all our staff have to remove the blue overalls and green wellies they wear in the grower and finisher buildings, wash their hands and change to a pair of orange overalls and white wellies,” said Mr Rowbottom, adding that once this process is complete, the staff are free to enter the nursery unit.
On exiting the nursery unit, of course, they carry out the same procedure in reverse.
Headline image shows colour-coded clothing and wellies as used at Ed Rowbottom’s East Yorkshire unit
According to AHDB Pork technical veterinary team manager, Dr Martin Smith, small and simple changes, such as the use of colour-coded clothing, can have a big practical impact on farm biosecurity.
“Disease breakdown on units can often be traced back to poor biosecurity,” he said, adding that producers should always be looking to tighten on-farm protocols.
“It doesn’t have to be expensive or particularly time consuming but, as with many things, small changes can have a huge difference.”
Mr Rowbottom believes the simplicity of his approach is one of the reasons for its success, aligned with positive staff attitudes.
“The process works effectively when managed well, but does require additional costs associated with purchasing and washing the overalls,” he said. “However, these costs are minimal compared to the cost that a serious disease outbreak could bring.
“We’re lucky that all of our staff are on board with the concept. To encourage uptake and successful implementation, I’d recommend that producers clearly explain the theory behind the process to help staff stick to it long term.”
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