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Winter 2002

Safe Keeping
By Beth Forbes

Image: National Biosecurity Resource Center faculty
Purdue established the National Biosecurity Resource Center to help prevent disease outbreak in the U.S. livestock industry. The center's faculty include (from left) Carol Koons, Darryl Ragland, Jessica Schneider, director Sandy Amass, Barb Byrne and Greg Stevenson (not pictured, Simon Kenyon). (Photo by Tom Campbell)

Amass has focused her attention on pinpointing the effectiveness of biosecurity practices. She pointed out one example of a flawed precautionary measure is the widely performed ritual of stepping through boot baths at livestock venues. "Boot baths are considered the gold standard for preventing the spread of diseases, but you could probably stand in one for 50 years and it still would not properly disinfect," she says.

Amass' research concluded that scrubbing manure off boots and then soaking them in disinfectant or using plastic disposable boots for short visits were much more effective measures than boot baths. Her research was published in the Journal of Swine Health and Production and is available on the Web site.

"About the only benefit of going through the motions of stepping in a boot bath," Amass says, "is that it increases the awareness of employees and others of the need for biosecurity and maintaining a clean workplace."

 

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