Visitor Risk Levels
Visiting school children generally pose the lowest level of risk to your operation. On the other hand, visitors who do not live or work on farms may encounter additional risks to their own health from ringworm, cryptosporidium, or salmonella, to name a few. Milk truck drivers, sales and service personnel can be considered medium risk visitors because they travel between multiple farms, but rarely come in close contact with livestock or their manure. High-risk visitors include veterinarians and artificial inseminators, foot trimmers, fleece shearers, livestock dealers or haulers, and deadstock haulers.
These visitors are classified as high-risk because they work directly with livestock on more than one farm. Different types of visitors require different access restrictions and requirements for hygiene while on your farm.
Classifying Visitor Risk
Characteristics of low-risk visitors:
- Do not make regular farm visits or work on a farm.
- Do not own their own livestock.
- Do not have close contact with your livestock while visiting.
- Examples of low-risk visitors include people from public tour groups, children on school field trips, etc.
To ensure biosecurity with low-risk visitors, follow these steps:
- Contact them ahead of time (if possible) and request they wear clean boots and outerwear.
- Provide disposable boot covers.
- Limit their contact with livestock.
- Make sure visitors note which areas are marked off-limits and that they avoid them.
- Encourage visitors to wash their hands before eating and before leaving the farm.
TrespassingIf you encounter trespassers, first call 911, use extreme caution and, if possible, record your interactions with trespassers, as voice recordings or video that could be useful evidence later.
Foreign Travel and Biosecurity Concerns
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) maintains lists of the USDA-Recognized Animal Health Status of Countries/Regions Regarding Specific Livestock or Poultry Diseases. If you have visited a country that has confirmed cases of highly contagious infectious animal diseases, you should follow these instructions before visiting any livestock farms, fairs, or shows:
- Launder or dry-clean all clothing and outerwear worn abroad.
- Remove all dirt and soil from shoes by thorough cleaning, then wipe them with a cloth or sponge dampened with a bleach solution consisting of five teaspoons household bleach diluted in one gallon of water.
- Wipe luggage and all personal items such as watches, cameras, laptop computers, CD players, and cell phones with the bleach solution.
The Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH) has developed two factsheets addressing biosecurity for international travelers. The documents are in PDF format for downloading.
These documents highlight actions you and your visitors should take to minimize the risk of transboundary and foreign animal diseases.