Disease prevention is the No. 1 concern for livestock producers today due to biosecurity concerns associated with threats such as foot-and-mouth disease, and others such as E. coli, Salmonella and common respiratory ailments.

Choosing the right disinfectant products from the many available can be a confusing process. Fred Schneider, Loveland Industries, lists five important features to consider when choosing a farm disinfectant.

1. It should provide broad-spectrum control of key disease-causing organisms. Livestock and poultry operations typically fight a few major diseases, but it’s also important to anticipate other problems and keep the minor ones in check.

2. Works on contact. A product should start working immediately to control ever-present, disease causing gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, molds, fungi and other
microorganisms. It also should be proven to work effectively in the presence of organic matter.

3. Keeps on working with residual control. The more often you treat, the more costly the treatment. Finding a product that provides continual germ-killing activity will prove most efficient and cost effective in the long run.

4. Safe for animals and workers. Disease prevention and control is especially important in pig nurseries to protect young animals that have rudimentary immune systems.

5. It should be easy to mix, use and apply.
Operator ease is an important aspect of any disinfectant program. Look for products that mix well, are non-corrosive and penetrate properly.

Following disinfection, recontamination must be prevented to keep disease organisms at the lowest possible level. For that, Schneider says everyone entering the animal premises should be required to use a two-step footbath that first washes away manure and dirt, then disinfects with a fast-acting product.