Biosecurity for Pig Farms
One of the best ways to keep animals healthy and protect pig farms across the country is to practice good biosecurity. Biosecurity on pig farms is another way to maintain business continuity and prepare for a foreign animal disease outbreak.
Producers can develop a custom biosecurity plan that addresses specific site needs. Use the following tools to get started.
Biosecurity at Youth Swine Shows
Biosecurity is a critical step to keep your pigs healthy before, during and after a pig show. Following these easy steps can keep your animals healthy and protect pigs across the country from getting sick.
Request a PIN
A premises identification number (PIN) is a unique code that is permanently assigned to a single site or location. This allows animal health officials to quickly and precisely identify where animals are located in case of a foreign animal disease outbreak or other emergency.
- How to Obtain a Premises ID Number in Each State
Federal Premises Identification Numbers (PIN) or Location Identifiers (LID) are administered by each state.
Producers should be prepared to provide the following information to register for their PIN:
- Name of entity or company
- Contact information for the owner or other appropriate individual
- Type of operation
- Street address, city, state, and ZIP code
- Phone number
- Some states have an optional category for latitude and longitude numbers
- Most states request the species of livestock on the site
It is important to note that the number of livestock is not required. The information gathered at the federal level for Premises Registration is only intended to identify that livestock are present and not the numbers of animals of each species.
- Verify a Premises ID Number
Verify a premises ID number and get printed barcode labels in three easy steps using our premises verification tool.
- How to Obtain USDA’s Official Premises ID Tags
Official identification is required for sows and boars entering harvest channels to meet USDA’s requirements for pre-harvest traceability of breeding swine. Get more information about PIN tags.
Approved PIN Tag Suppliers
- Destron (800) 328-0118
- Allflex (800) 989-8247
- Y-Tex (800) 443-6401
Prepare to Protect Your Herd
The Pork Checkoff recommends that producers work with their herd veterinarian to write a site-specific enhanced biosecurity plan. Implementing this plan will help prevent exposing animals to disease. It will also help maintain business continuity in the event of an outbreak and the limited movement of animals.
Visit Secure Pork Supply for planning resources available in English and Spanish:
- Checklists and Templates
- Biosecurity Manuals and Plan Examples
- Signs and Posters
- And More
Get Started with These 14 Biosecurity Resources
The Pork Checkoff provides research and best practices for producers to use on their farm. Get started creating a plan and reviewing biosecurity protocols on your farm by reviewing this sample collection of 14 biosecurity resources.
Seven Steps to Start A Biosecurity Plan
1. Draw A Strict Line Of Separation
The first step to creating a biosecurity plan to prepare for and prevent an animal disease is to designate a line of separation on your farm and maintain it. A line of separation divides the inside, clean area of your pig barn from the outside, contaminated area. The inside is clean; the outside is dirty.
Be strict that crossing the line requires some level of hygiene. Provide visual reminders of the line by painting door frames and concrete or designating areas with colored duct tape. In fact, you may need to set up several lines within a site, because biosecurity is not just about exposure from the outside, but also the lateral spread of disease.
2. Establish Clothing and Showering Requirements
On sow farms, showering in and out is a fixture, but it is less common on growing-pig sites. A shower is not always necessary, but at a minimum everyone should be required to change into dedicated farm clothes and shoes before entering a pig barn. Handwashing is also important, as well as honoring all clean/dirty lines. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of showering is based on proper usage, how clean it is, how it’s supplied, and its location and flow from clean to dirty sides (including towels – clean side only).
3. Keep Up With Maintenance
Good equipment maintenance goes hand in hand with a solid biosecurity plan. Ensure that feed is not spilling out and building up under bins, as it’s an invitation for birds, rodents and other wildlife. The cost of regular repairs also helps avoid wasting feed.
4. Share Farm Rules With Incoming Crews
While onsite workers should be trained the biosecurity rules, occasional visitors, such as vaccination and loadout crews or repairmen and technicians, pose higher risks. It’s a good idea to call ahead of time to explain the biosecurity rules, including how to enter the farm, what clothing/showering requirements are in place, and how to recognize the clean/dirty lines. Stay focused on biosecurity measures even for visitors who may not have much exposure to pigs, and don’t be tempted to bend the rules.
5. Prioritize Loadouts
Prioritize clean trailers for the first cut of market hogs because there are not enough truck washes, time, or personnel to wash, disinfect and dry every truck/trailer every time. You have another four to five weeks to empty the barn, so you don’t want to expose the remaining pigs to a disease that could cause some serious consequences. Staged loading is another idea gaining traction.
6. Avoid Mistakes Bringing In Supplies
The pass-through windows, UV chambers and disinfectant rooms for incoming supplies are common areas for mistakes. All surfaces need to be exposed for disinfection, and everything coming into a barn should be addressed.
7. Follow Biosecurity Plan When Removing Culls and Mortalities
Both are high-risk events, and it’s important to respect the clean/dirty line. For culls, apply the staged loading concept. If rendering is required, an off-site pick-up location is important, but recognize that it’s contaminated and your vehicle will be too. After all, the rendering truck has known exposure to sick pigs. Sometimes changing behavior means a design change, so prioritize biosecurity when designing new production sites/buildings or when remodeling.