On-farm biosecurity

On-farm biosecurity is a set of measures designed to protect a property from the entry and spread of pests and diseases.  It is the responsibility of the landowner and every person visiting or working on the property to ensure that these are implemented.

Pathways of spread

Pests and diseases can spread to your property through the movement of people, animals, crops, vehicles, machinery and equipment, as well as in soil mud and contaminated feed and seed. Here are ways you can manage your biosecurity risks.

  • Ask all visitors to check that their footwear and clothing are free from mud and plant seeds or fragments before entering your farm
  • Provide cleaning facilities such as hand washing basins or foot baths
  • Include biosecurity as part of your farm induction for visitors (as you would with health and safety).
Vehicles, machinery and equipment
  • Limit the number of access points to your farm
  • Place biosecurity signage at the farm entrance (available from Environment Canterbury)
  • Only allow clean vehicles and machinery to access your farm 
  • Provide a washdown area in your yard for vehicles entering or exiting your farm
  • Direct visitors to designated parking areas away from livestock or crops, and if they are accessing the farm ask that they stay on formed roads and tracks whenever possible.
  • Before buying new stock, or allowing someone else’s stock to graze on your farm, check whether there are any pests or diseases on the farm they have come from 
  • Isolate new animals in a holding paddock for 21 days
  • Only take healthy livestock to shows, sales and markets.
Feed and seed
  • Only buy certified seed and propagation material
  • Before bringing feed on to your property, ask about any pest plants at the source
  • Regularly monitor feed-out areas for pest plants  

Cleaning procedures between properties

Contaminants should be left at the site. So if you have walked, used equipment, driven vehicles or used machinery within the property and could have possibly collected soil, seed or encountered animals/by-products on any of these items, including footwear, remember to clean, wash and disinfect to reduce the spread of pests and diseases.

Clean to reduce the spread of pests
  1. Remove as much debris as possible by scraping, brushing or sweeping surfaces to remove all solids.
  2. Use water to wash away all mud, seeds or other organic material that may have accumulated.
  3. Check clothing (including footwear) for any seeds that may have been picked up. 
  4. Remember to clean the inside as well as outside of vehicles.
Clean to reduce the spread of diseases
  1. Remove as much debris as possible by scraping, brushing or sweeping surfaces to remove all solids. This is essential because disinfectants are ineffective when applied to organic material.
  2. Moisten the area if it's dusty to minimise the potential spread of disease through the air. 
  3. Clean from the cleanest item to the dirtiest. Wash by wiping or scrubbing footwear and equipment with clean water to reduce the amount of debris.
  4. When using soap, thoroughly rinse all surfaces at low pressure to remove any residue as this can deactivate some disinfectants. 
  5. Allow items to drain or dry before applying disinfectant, to reduce the risk of diluting it. 
  6. Spray washed items with an appropriate disinfectant and follow any instructions provided on the label.

On-farm biosecurity support

Our biosecurity staff are available to provide advice and resources to farmers looking to improve their on-farm biosecurity. For more information and a copy of our standards and procedures, email biosecurity@ecan.govt.nz.