Use disinfectants in accordance with APVMA labelling

In May 2021, Alltech Lienert’s Biosecurity Manager Mike Pritchard gave the final presentation at the Brisbane WPSA/PIX seminar that was split between physical events in Queensland and Victoria with virtual presentations from some speakers.

Mike delivered his presentation on Farm Biosecurity to an audience largely centred on the poultry sector.

However, what he said was just as relevant to the pork producing industry, in fact, given the longer cycle periods in pig rather than poultry production, his advice was even more important.

Having heard about the real costs to producers and industry of disease outbreaks from the previous two speakers, Mike’s audience was well primed for some clear advice around ‘on farm’ biosecurity.

Mike’s experience in dealing with biosecurity issues is long and wide. He has worked both in Australia and overseas in the critical area of livestock protection as well as tackling complex biosecurity concerns for naval vessels and equipment.

As Biosecurity Manager at Alltech/Lienerts he has long experience in the use of Virkon S, a globally recognised disinfectant

“Know the difference and why disinfection is important,” he said. “Remember that you should disinfect, not sanitize because disinfectants are the only products approved by the EPA to kill viruses on hard (ie non porous) surfaces.

“The main difference is that EPA approved sanitisers only have claims for bacteria, while disinfectants have claims against both bacteria and viruses,” Mike warned.

“You cannot disinfect dirt – clean farms and equipment first,” he added.

“Use quality detergent. Foams provide longer contact time, remove biofilm and provide better cleaning results than just pressure washing and reduce most pathogens by 99%,” he said.

“Pay attention to disinfection and removal of biofilms in drinker systems.”

He recommended the Danish system for production house entry – virus and bacteria can be transferred in organic matter or on clothing. Investment in additional footware is minimal and the return on investment is good for all farms be they poultry, cattle dairy.

“Only chemistry can break the chain of transmission (vaccination, medication, genetic resistance, housing management and a biosecurity strategy using disinfectant,” he said.

“Products often in use with no evidence of efficacy for diseases of concern can be problematic.

“Sanitisers used broadly when disinfectant is required, and large amounts of non registered products in use, largely because they may cost less, also APVMA registered products not being used for registered label application i.e. registered for one thing and used for another, are all problematic,” Mike revealed.

In summarising a thorough coverage of his topic Mikes concluding advice was: “To put ROI ahead of cost and to find out the true cost in
application as recommended: you will often be surprised,” he said.

“Lokk closely at AVPMA labels, not online sales literature from overseas, and familiarise yourself with expectations, efficacy and limitations of products.

“Safety, sustainability and environment in these days needs to be part of your assessment

“Finally, consider the animal welfare implications of your biosecurity decisions,” he concluded.