One of our first line of defenses for our farm in keeping disease from entering our property starts at the driveway. Like many farms, we installed a gate at the end of the driveway to prohibit uninvited guests from driving onto our property. In addition to the gate, we have our property posted with No Trespassing signs to deter people from driving down our driveway if the gate is open.
Having the gate allows us to control access of who we let drive onto our property. We have designated parking in the front of the property for visitors.
We have implemented a bio-security plan to try and alleviate any chance of disease entering our property by transportation, human touch or by feet!
We have folks park in a specific area, away from the barn, animals and pastures and upon exiting their automobiles, they are now being greeted with a foot washing station, boot covers, hand sanitizer and gloves. (In addition, some farms require wearing a tyvek disposable suit or lab coat when visiting their farms.) We keep logs of people visiting our farm as well.
While many people probably think that is a little "overboard", I haven't seen any of those people offer to write a check for any required veterinary treatment, loss of animals, land and barn decontamination and any other costs that would be incurred by bringing a disease onto our property. Our herd tested clean for disease and we aim to keep it that way - for the health of our animals, our farm, us and our finances!
There are reasons agricultural places like the Michigan State when visiting the sheep barns and Big AG hatcheries, pig farms and dairies require everyone abide by strict bio-security measures - They are minimizing the risks of introducing diseases onto their farms and protecting their investments. Knowing how horrible diseases like Johnnie's that inflict pain, suffering and death on the inflicted animal, I'd question why one has not implemented safety precautions and bio-security measures on their farm - large or small.
When people come to our farm to purchase an animal or product from us, we bring the animals away from the barn and pasture areas to them. We show them inside the trailer or in some cases, we will set up a run for viewing. In doing so, we are minimizing risks to our precious animals, our barn and pastures. It's nothing personal, it is one of the ways we try to keep costs down and disease out of our herd.
I'd love to know what bio-security plans other people have or are implementing on their farms!