Vehicle Biosecurity in Swine Production

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What is Vehicle Biosecurity?

Biosecurity is at the forefront in preventing disease and maintaining healthy pigs to ensure the productivity and profitability of the swine industry. Implementing a biosecurity program requires both a dedicated mindset and a very thorough set of procedures to protect the herd from infectious disease. Therefore, the most successful biosecurity programs in the industry are multifaceted in their approach. Vehicle biosecurity is a key component of these programs. Vehicle biosecurity involves the comprehensive set of procedures implemented at the designated entry and exit point to the facility to prevent the transmission of disease both on to and off of the production site associated with transportation traffic. Let’s take a closer look at the details involved in preventing transportation as a vector in transmitting disease and the solutions provided by Neogen, your trusted partner in biosecurity.  

How is it Implemented?


Clean Dirty
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It all starts with restricting access to the production facility through establishing a defined secure perimeter containing a designated entry point. It is important that signs are posted around the perimeter clearly communicating the required point of entry for all vehicle traffic. Any vehicles that are granted access to cross the perimeter and enter the production facility must be appropriately cleaned and disinfected. The vehicle cleaning and disinfecting process must be designed to effectively address all areas of potential contamination to include both interior and exterior surfaces.

Cleaning Cabs

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The cleaning process begins with the removal of dirt, manure, and other organic matter from the surfaces of the vehicle. An emphasis should be placed on the cleaning of the interior of the vehicle before proceeding to address the exterior. Any dirty clothing or personal protective equipment (PPE) should be removed from the interior of the vehicle for laundering or disposal. Areas of focus to clean and disinfect on the interior of the vehicle should be the door handles, steering wheel, controls, dashboard, floor mats, floor boards, and pedals. Beginning with the floors, it is important to remove the floor mats, clean to eliminate dirt and debris, disinfect, and allow surfaces to dry prior to reinstalling the mats. BioSentry® BioPhene™ Spray Disinfectant is an aerosol combination of a phenolic and an alcohol that is fast acting and effective against important swine pathogens, eliminates odors leaving behind a fresh scent, and dries quickly preventing unwanted residues making it a valuable solution for floor mats, floor boards, and pedals. Companion™ Disinfectant Wipes are a broad spectrum, non-corrosive, easy to use, all in one cleaner and disinfectant wipe that provide an effective solution for use on door handles, controls, the dashboard, and the steering wheel to secure that clean cab.

Cleaning Vehicles

Clean Vehicles
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Any animal bedding material present in live haul trailers should be removed at a designated location for proper disposal prior to the wash station. At the wash station, conduct an initial spray down of the trailer, wheel wells, tires, undercarriage, and other contaminated external surfaces to remove any loose debris. Farm-Foam EVO detergent is a good choice for a general purpose, non-corrosive, phosphate-free, biodegradable, alkaline detergent to apply to hard surfaces and to the trailer to assist with the final removal of any contamination for a thorough cleaning in preparation for disinfection.

After application of the cleaner, providing 10-15 minutes of detergent contact time will assist to loosen debris prior to rinsing. All surfaces should be rinsed thoroughly with water utilizing a top to bottom approach to remove the detergent and any remaining organic material.

Disinfecting Vehicles

Disinfecting vehicles
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Now proceed with disinfection of all newly cleaned surfaces. A proven choice for a dual-action, broad spectrum, non-corrosive disinfectant to eliminate disease-causing agents to include bacteria, viruses, and fungi is Synergize®. During the disinfection process, it is important that the required contact time for effectiveness of the selected product is followed and all safety warnings on the label receive the proper attention necessary to protect personnel through the utilization of appropriate PPE. The PPE necessary may include goggles, gloves, coveralls, and boots.


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The vehicle should be permitted time to dry prior to reuse and is typically in the form of a Thermo-Assisted Drying and Decontamination (TADD) bay. Drying is an essential function in a vehicle biosecurity program. The drying process desiccates any remaining pathogens and ensures that the next load of animals have a warm, dry environment.

Final Considerations

A final area of emphasis is the maintenance of the wash station to prevent any recontamination through its continued use. The wash station should be completely clean and free of any remaining residues following each use. The wash station should be designed to effectively handle all drainage and run-off generated to prevent any exposure of the herd and to comply with all environmental regulations.


Selecting Cleaners and Disinfectants

It is important to carefully consider the selection of the appropriate chemistries to be utilized in the cleaning and disinfecting process. When selecting cleaners for this purpose, Farm-Foam EVO an alkaline formulation works great to remove fecal material, dirt and debris, fats, and oils. However, the recommendation on occasion is to rotate to an acid formulation to prevent any scale buildup. Acid-A-Foam™ EVO a phosphate-free, biodegradable, acid detergent would complete this rotation to achieve the best results for surface cleanliness in this environment.

With the formulation of Synergize being a combination of glutaraldehyde with a quaternary ammonium, it serves as an effective broad spectrum, non-corrosive disinfectant product for vehicle biosecurity in the swine industry. Peroxide oxidizing agents are being utilized as effective disinfectants within the industry as well; however, their corrosive nature can be a disadvantage. Other disinfectant chemistries are available; however, it is important to realize that their broad-spectrum efficacy against important infectious agents, effect on applied surfaces, and handling safety may limit their use.   

Attention to detail is extremely important in the proper execution of the cleaning and disinfecting process involved with vehicles that enter and exit a production facility. It only takes the slightest amount of organic material on a vehicle to harbor an infectious agent that could serve as the source of a catastrophic disease outbreak. Any failure in execution could have a significant impact on productivity and profitability. Vehicle biosecurity is vital to serving as an important line of defense in maintaining a healthy herd. Train personnel on consistent high-level execution and implement proven solutions from Neogen, your trusted partner in biosecurity, to ensure the necessary results are achieved.


To see Vehicle Disinfection in action, take a look at the Pork Avenue lesson sponsored by Neogen.


Sponsored by Neogen