Biosecurity practices for animal health: guidance for public sector staff

Management practices that collectively reduce the potential for the introduction or spread of animal disease-causing organisms onto and between farms.

Advice for visitors

Visitors to livestock farms also have an important role to play in helping livestock farmers to maintain biosecurity.

Common sense precautions include leaving gates as you find them, avoiding contact with livestock where possible and taking litter, including waste food, home with you.

Visitors to farm properties and/or buildings where farm animals or crops, etc. are kept, for example business visitors, contractors, and utility workers, need to be aware of their role in helping the community combat the transmission of animal and plant diseases.

Visitors should contact the farmer or representative first to arrange the visit and follow the biosecurity advice given in respect of the relevant land/premises.

Establish what washing and disinfection facilities are available, and seek information from the farmer on the precautions to be taken at the location concerned.

Establish whether there are any Separation Areas for controlling the movement of animals. These areas are governed by stricter disease control measures.

If you are visiting the farm premises as a representative of any organisation, you should ensure that your clothes are not muddy and that your shoes/boots have been cleaned and then disinfected. This is particularly important if visiting a number of farms.

Vehicles, including those shared/hired, should be kept clean (inside and outside) to reduce the risk of spreading any disease when travelling to and from farm premises. 

Vehicles should be parked on hard standing, not in any fields containing livestock and should not be driven through fields which have or have recently had stock in them, to the extent that this is feasible without severely limiting access. 

Ensure that gates are left as they are found.

Never feed animals or leave food, litter or associated packaging around where animals can eat it, including in adjacent fields.



Telephone: 0300 244 4000 (Central Enquiry Unit)

Scottish Government
Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate
Saughton House


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