Disinfection on dairy farm: who needs it? The simple answer is YOU DO!
Cleaning and disinfecting is imperative to maintain well being and health of production animals, especially in intensive modern housing where high density and high productivity increases the infection pressure. Thorough cleaning and adapted disinfection allow to decrease the pathogens level and to prevent or to break the disease cycle.
The myth of the ideal disinfectant…
The ideal disinfectant:
- Has a spectrum adapted to the target
- Is fast-acting
- Has a sufficient efficiency within the contact time
- Remains active in presence of organic matter
- Has a good material compatibility
- Has no or low toxicity for users
- Has an acceptable ecotoxicity
- And an easy protocol of application
Iodine, chlorine, glutaraldehyde, phenolic or quaternary ammoniums compounds… None of these raw materials is responding to all these parameters. Thus synergy is required: a mutually advantageous conjunction of distinct elements allow to be closer to the “myth of ideal disinfectant”
Complex formulations with several active substances, containing also stabilizers, sequestering agents, buffering agents,… off er the best compromise.
And together with the chemical properties of the disinfectant, the method of application is a key factor to obtain good results.
To guarantee a good activity of the disinfectant, following directions of use is essential.
On the label you can find the description of the biocidal activity, the amount of active substances, the mode of application and the danger classifi cation of the product. On the Safety Data Sheet you can find the danger classification of the product, the way on how the product should be handled in a safe way for the user and the environment and the risk management measures that should be taken when handling the biocidal product.
The Biocidal Product Directive 98/8/EC (BPD) governs the authorization and the placing on the market of biocidal products in the European Union. The goal is to authorized on the market products without unacceptable effects on the environment, human or animal health.
The biocidal products are divided in different categories, depending on their application (see table 1).
Product-type 3: Veterinary hygiene biocidal products. Products in this group are biocidal products used for veterinary hygiene purposes including products used in areas in which animals are housed, kept or transported.
… And the reality of specific situations
A disinfectant is composed of one or more chemicals. These chemicals react with organic matter (soils) and organisms. In reacting, the chemicals are consumed. Rough, porous surfaces are harder
to disinfect than smooth surfaces. Porous surfaces are also harder to clean than smooth surfaces. Porous surfaces will therefore have heavier soil loads after cleaning, which further increases the difficulty of disinfection.
On a dairy farm, sources of contamination are the environment, the material (milking machine), the farmer and the animals themselves.
Several disinfectants are used on dairy farms at different frequencies and different applications.
The choice is made according to the answers given to the following questions:
- Against which germs am I disinfecting? Know your enemy before the fight!
- Where and which surfaces have to be disinfected? The disinfectant should be adapted to the surface to be disinfected and to the level of organic matter
- How and how often should I disinfect?
By answering these questions, the adapted disinfectant is selected.