Biosecurity is the prevention of disease causing agents entering or leaving any place where they can pose a risk to farm animals, other animals, humans, or the safety and quality of a food product.

Good biosecurity practice

Good biosecurity should be practised at all times, not just during a disease outbreak. Taking the right measures in the early stages of an outbreak e.g. before we know disease is in the country, can help prevent or reduce its spread.

Guidance for Livestock Keepers

The Biosecurity code for Northern Ireland farms is intended to provide a basic reference for the industry, but cannot address every eventuality.

Bluetongue - guidance of the use of insecticides for the treatment of animal vehicles

Before the animals have been loaded on the vehicle the inside of the animal compartment must be treated with a residual insecticide spray licensed by the Health and Safety Executive.

A list of HSE authorised insecticides can be found on the Defra website. The authorised insecticides are synthetic pyrethroids approved for use against flying insects, and can be used in animal housing or similar areas such as abattoirs.

The list on the Defra website is for guidance purposes only, and is not a definitive list. 

These products maybe suitable for use in this situation, however the user will need - as with any other treatment - to do their own risk assessment before using the particular product to see if it can be used in their situation.

Insecticides must be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Spraying at rates beyond the manufacturer's instructions will not improve efficacy and increases the risk of groundwater and surface water pollution.

For further information, please contact your Private Veterinary Practitioner (PVP).

Bluetongue - guidance on products used to control flies which are suitable for treatment of animals

This list is for guidance purposes only and is not a definitive list. Further information is available in the Compendium of Data Sheets for Animal Medicines 2012.

Product Species Type Withdrawl period Ingredient
Auriplak Cattle, sheep Ear tag and dip Nil Permethrin
Butox swish Cattle Pour-on 20 days meat
0 days milk
Clik Sheep Pour-on 40 days Dicyclanil
Crovect Cattle, sheep Pour-on 8 days Cypermethrin
Dectomax Cattle, sheep Injection 56 meat / 60 milk
S - 63 days
Dectomax Cattle Pour-on 35 meat / 60 milk Doramectin
Specific for flies
Cattle, sheep Pour-on 28 days
S - 49 days
Eprinex Cattle Pour-on 15 days meat
0 days milk
Flectron Cattle Ear tag 0 - tag removed before slaughter Cypermethrin
Flypo Cattle Pour-on 3 days meat
6 hours milk
Vetrazin Sheep Pour-on 28 days Cryomazine

Advice and information on preventing other animal diseases can be found at the below links.

Guidance for Bird Keepers

Advice and information on various aspects of preventing the risk of disease spreading to your birds can be found below.

Guidance for Farm Biosecurity and Vehicle Disinfection

Please see attached document guidance regarding farm biosecurity and vehicle disinfection for deliveries and collections to poultry premises within restricted zones.

Guidance for Poultry House planning

The site for any poultry house should be carefully considered to reduce the risk of introducing disease to your flock. The following are some general points you should consider before you decide where your poultry house will be.

  • The modern design of large commercial poultry houses and feed stores are usually considered of a good biosecurity standard provided the birds are held within the house and not let out.  These can be sited in most locations provided that they are not adjacent to any water bodies.
  • It is not advisable to use a nearby water body as a source of water for cleaning out a house as there is a threat posed by the possible presence of wildfowl and faeces, which could be mechanically carried into the poultry house and potentially be a source of avian influenza or Newcastle disease.
  • Free range houses pose a major biosecurity problem in that it is impossible to prevent commercial birds coming into contact with wild birds or the faeces from wild birds.  This could be a potential source of avian influenza or Newcastle disease.
  • Wildfowl are the main source of avian influenza virus for primary introduction into a commercial unit. Wildfowl tend not to travel further than 1km from a water source in search of food, uncommonly up to 5km and rarely up to 10km.  Therefore the further away houses are placed from water bodies the better.
  • As well as the size of the water body the amount of wetland vegetation around the water body and the depth of the water are equally important in determining the density of wildfowl on such sites.
  • Therefore local knowledge of the area is important in assessing the wildfowl density in an area. Advice should be sought from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Also, the presence of wild fowl on a water body encourages more wild fowl to join them - the more the merrier.

Additional information is available by contacting your local DAERA Direct regional office.

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