Utilities asked to respect biosecurity requirements

The NPA is urging utility companies to recognise the importance of complying with pig farm biosecurity arrangements, following reports of one inspector being told by his superiors that he must gain access “no matter what”.

The pig industry body says its members are more than willing to cooperate with utility companies, but they must respect and acknowledge the industry’s biosecurity requirements.

“Each individual herd establishes and maintains its own health status by following a strict biosecurity protocol in order to protect the herd from diseases,” the NPA’s Lizzie Press said. “In order to be able to do this, they need to ensure that any visitors comply with their protocols so they don’t unwittingly introduce any disease onto the farm.”

The NPA is asking all utility companies to abide by the following guidelines:

• always liaise with the unit owner/manager prior to an inspection;

• always be at least 48 hours pig-free prior to an inspection;

• always leave the vehicle on the perimeter of the unit unless the unit owner/manager stipulates otherwise. Any vehicles taken onto a unit must be thoroughly disinfected first, wheel arches particularly;

• always use the unit’s own overalls and boots wherever possible;

• never take items that have been on another farm onto a pig unit unless they’ve been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with a DEFRA-approved disinfectant.

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