Protecting Your Farm from Disease
The farmer’s workday is one of the busiest and most productive of any profession. Diseases and biosecurity can and will present serious problems if not kept in check. Despite that, they’re sometimes forgotten when thinking of maintaining a steady stream of work. While worker and animal safety are always the top priority of any farm, there are some threats that are less obvious.
Biosecurity is all about protecting plants, animals, people and the environment from pests and diseases. After the year we’ve just experienced, the impact of a disease running rampant has not been lost on any of us. Preventing outbreaks of pests or disease is always easier than cleaning up after the fact. Establishing good sanitary practices and wearing proper PPE are crucial to the health of your farm. Working to turn biosecurity measures into habits on your farm can save you a lot of trouble.
Different kinds of farms have different biosecurity issues to worry about, so it’s important to take the time needed to brush up on any knowledge or strategies specific to your farm, its residents, livestock and/or its crops. The farm biosecurity website provides some invaluable information and resources for farmers on combatting biosecurity threats.
Diseases transferred from animals to humans can be particularly nasty. Known as zoonotic diseases, these are responsible for most epidemic and pandemic outbreaks. Typically causing long lasting symptoms and health consequences, zoonotic diseases are something farms with livestock must take special caution with. Vaccinate workers and animals against known and relevant diseases. Zoonotic diseases can be spread from animal to human in a variety of ways, including but not necessarily limited to direct contact, inhalation, ingestion or by bite. Wash hands regularly and dress and cover wounds to reduce risk – animals should also be regularly treated with baths in dips to ensure their safety.
Educate yourself with the necessary knowledge and skills to allow you to remain prepared and enact protections across your farm. Take a look at some of the other key precautions you may need to implement on your farm:
- Track visitors’ movements on your farm – have them report to a house or office rather than drive over the property looking for you.
- Provide PPE to people moving around your farm, animals and/or crops.
- Implement proper hygiene protocols and practices.
- Train all workers on sanitary and preventative practices.
- Assess water and foodstuffs for diseases, pests, chemicals and algae.
- Regularly clean vehicles and machinery.
- Shower or bathe after finishing work and when entering the home.
- Seek medical attention urgently if you or anyone else notice signs of disease.
Life on a farm is full of responsibility. But, by protecting yourself, livestock, crops and the farm itself is an ongoing and consistently important task. Forming good habits is the realistic solution to maximising safety and biosecurity.
For any farming and steel supply needs, get in touch with the team from Steel Supplies Charters Towers.