People, vehicles & equipment
If it can move, it can carry diseases, pests and weeds. For this reason, people, vehicles and equipment pose a high biosecurity risk and should be managed accordingly.
Visit the Records section for gate sign templates, and copies of visitor assessments and visitor records mentioned in the videos. The Biosecurity Toolkit section in the Crop and Livestock industry pages have all the resources you need to implement biosecurity measures on your farm.
Visitors and workers
People can unintentionally carry diseases, pests and weeds without even realising. This means anyone visiting your property including suppliers, vets, transporters, stock agents, consultants, itinerant workers, researchers and contractors. It also includes guests, and, anyone who lives on the property.
To limit the risk of visitors carrying new pests and diseases onto your property:
- limit entry points to access the property – ideally there should only be one access point so that all movements can be recorded and you always know who is on your property
- direct all visitors to a designated parking area by using clear signage, and ask them to report to management and sign a visitor register
- all visitors to the property must ensure that their vehicles, equipment, boots and clothing are clean and free from pests, weed seeds and plant material
- all visitor vehicles, equipment and boots should be cleaned upon entering the property in a wash-down bay
- any visitor who refuses to clean vehicles, equipment and boots, or cannot demonstrate that their clothing is clean should be refused entry
- limit visitor contact with livestock, crops or plant materials as much as possible and eliminate any unnecessary contact altogether
- if you run a business that has a tourism component, you’ll need to clearly indicate any entry requirements and be especially vigilant in checking for new pests and diseases
- disinfect hands before and after coming into contact with livestock, plant material or soil
- ensure that staff and occasional workers clean and disinfect equipment such as pruning shears in-between uses on different properties
- ensure all your staff are familiar with the basic symptoms associated with a pest or disease outbreak and know how to report them.
Use signs to inform visitors of your biosecurity status and what you require from them. Never assume that visitors know the appropriate biosecurity measures for your property.
For signage to be effective:
- ensure signs are clear, visible and well maintained
- signs should contain simple messages (e.g. ‘Do not enter the farm without prior approval’, ‘Use wash down facilities for cleaning vehicles and machinery’)
- support your signage with other biosecurity measures such as restricted access points.
Diseases, pests and weeds can enter a farm and be spread by equipment and vehicles, either directly or in plant material, soil or manure. It is important to maintain equipment hygiene and ensure all vehicles that visit your property are clean and well maintained.
Knowing who has entered your property allows possible sources of diseases, pests or weeds to be tracked. Also, limiting the number of vehicle access points to your property will limit the potential disease, pest and weed entry sites and allow you to monitor these areas closely.
- Limit the number of entry and exit points (one is preferable).
- Examine each vehicle entry and exit point for the risk they pose, particularly in relation to the distance from livestock and crops.
- Display biosecurity signs, with clear instructions and contact details, at all vehicle access points.
- Clearly sign and lock restricted access areas.
- Keep a visitor register.
Vehicle tyres, undercarriages, grills, floors and trays can carry diseases, pests and weeds in soil, plant material and manure.
- Ensure visitor vehicles are clean and are parked in a designated area away from livestock or crops.
- Establish a vehicle high pressure wash down facility well away from livestock and crops to clean vehicles and equipment which need to enter the property.
- The wash down area should have a sump to collect any waste water.
- Ensure any run off is directed away from livestock pens, paddocks, crops and waterways.
- Regularly check areas around the wash down facility for new pests or weeds.
- Keep an up to date equipment and vehicle cleaning record.
- Clean machinery from the top down and dismantle it as far as possible to gain access to internal spaces.
- Clean and disinfect all borrowed or second hand machinery before using it on your property.
- Follow any wash down with a broad spectrum disinfectant. This will further reduce the risk of introducing less visible threats like bacteria, viruses, and spores onto your property.
Equipment hygiene and storage
Storage containers, tools and feeding equipment can carry or harbour diseases, pests or weeds. Regularly clean and disinfect all storage containers, tools and equipment, and store away from potential contaminants. The regular use of a suitable disinfectant is important and most effective when applied to a visually clean surface. Make sure surfaces to be disinfected are free from soil, manure, plant and animal residues.
Dedicated equipment for high risk areas
It may be most practical to assign equipment (including tools, clothing, and footwear) for use in disease, pest and weed affected areas or for handling sick stock. The equipment used in infected or infested areas should not be reused in clean areas, and vice versa.
One area of especially high risk are the few zoonotic diseases (those which can be passed from animals to humans, such as hendra or avian influenza). Seek advice from a veterinarian if you see any unusual symptoms in your animals and use appropriate personal protective equipment (such as gloves, protective eyewear and a face mask) with suspected animals. It is particularly important that any husbandry equipment exposed to a diseased animal is cleaned and disinfected before it is used on other livestock.
Potting and propagating facilities
Using good hygiene practices undertaken during potting and propagation will minimise the chance of pests spreading. The facilities and areas designated for propagation activities should be separated from production areas.
- Benches and tools used for propagation should be regularly washed and disinfected, preferably between each batch of media or plant material.
- Potting containers should be clean and disinfected before use.
- All spilt material and plant waste should be collected and disposed of regularly.