By Beth Forbes
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)
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,"
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.
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."