The hygiene of the technology consists of systematic sanitisation and disinfection procedures. Also very important is insect control (disinsectisation) and deratisation (rodent control).
Large farms should have separate rooms and sectors for the different physiological phases (e.g. farrowing, rearing of young, fattening). Between production cycles, thorough sanitisation and disinfection should be carried out according to the ‘all in – all out’ principle.
The prerequisite for effective disinfection of a building or facility is thorough sanitisation, leading to a significant reduction in the number of microorganisms. This involves the removal of all organic contaminants (mainly faecal matter – mechanical cleaning), washing with water (to soften the “dirt”), pressurised water, and preferably hot pressurised water with added detergents (from the top of the walls to the floor, cages, flooring, etc.). An important part of sanitisation is the water supply system. This system should be disconnected from the water supply and flushed with a sanitisation chemical. If there is an expansion tank it is also important to disinfect it.
Effective sanitisation and disinfection is possible without the presence of animals in the building/farm sector. The effectiveness of disinfection is enhanced by allowing surfaces to dry after cleaning, while at the same time reducing the use of disinfectant. Of the large range of disinfectant formulations, the following factors should be taken into account when choosing the right product:
- the type of micro-organisms and their resistance to the preparation,
- the type of room to be disinfected, the means of transport or the type of objects,
- the effect of the product on the animals and its aggressiveness towards the environment (building, cages, equipment and installations).
The effectiveness of disinfection depends on the temperature and how the disinfectant is applied, its concentration and duration of action. In practice, the use of high-pressure units is recommended, which reduces the consumption of disinfectant. The type of treatment also depends on the product used, for which the manufacturer’s dilution standards must be adhered to. The toxicity of the product to animals determines the need to rinse it off the surface. Some of the new generation of disinfectants are non-toxic and therefore do not require rinsing. However, residual preparations should always be removed from cages by rinsing with running water. The period of time during which a building/section of a building is taken out of production, i.e. the time from when it is emptied until it is reoccupied, is referred to as a sanitary break, which should be 2-3 days.
Disinfectant preparations should only be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and only those authorised for this purpose, as listed on the website of the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices and Biocidal Products (urpl.gov.pl).
Pest control aims to destroy harmful insects that play a large role in the spread of infectious and invasive diseases.
A distinction is made between:
- prophylactic disinsection, aimed at creating conditions of animal husbandry that are not conducive to the life and reproduction of harmful insects, as well as protecting the animals themselves from infestation (preparations generally applied to the skin),
- extermination disinsection, the aim of which is to destroy the insects present in the environment, at all stages of their development,
The indoor spraying method is widely used, but most of the active substances found in commercial preparations cannot be used in the presence of animals.
Deratisation is aimed at destroying rodents that threaten animals as an active source of certain diseases, being carriers of pathogenic microorganisms and parasites. Rodents play a particular role in the transmission of animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease, rabies, anthrax, Aujeszky’s disease, listeriosis, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, Q fever, trichinosis and others. They can also be carriers of coccidian oocysts, parasite eggs, fungi, etc. In addition, rodents cause damage by eating and contaminating feed, damaging building insulation, PVC pipe installations, as well as electrical, signalling, computer installations, etc.
Two methods are used in the fight against rodents: prevention and extermination.
- preventive methods include proper protection of buildings against the entry of mice and rats. The foundations and wall bases of buildings should be made of materials that prevent the penetration of rodents. The condition of floors, walls, doors, window frames, etc. should be constantly inspected, and if burrows and entrances are found, they should be immediately plugged with cement. All low-lying window openings and vents should be secured. Doors to rooms should be tightly fitted. It is very important to maintain cleanliness, both in and around enclosures. Feed, should be stored in rat-proof rooms.
- among the extermination methods, the chemical method of using rodenticides is the most important. Poisons should be placed in poison stations both in the building (if the housing system permits) and at the entrance and the boundary of the farm. Poisoning should be carried out periodically and the effectiveness of application monitored.