How to increase workforce awareness about biosecurity

Heloiza Irtes is part of the Global Veterinary Service (GVS) responsible for South America. GVS group has specialists in swine health management and biosecurity and helps Topigs Norsvin to produce animals with high health status. The team is responsible for building the biosecurity program for our global nucleus, multiplier, and AI Centers. Biosecurity and the prevention of a new disease introduction are critical to the success of any pig farm.

Heloiza’s tips to increase workforce awareness about biosecurity:

  1. Biosecurity must be part of the company’s culture: Everyone in the company must understand the importance of biosecurity. That means from the CEO to the simplest operator. Biosecurity needs to be embedded in the company culture and must always be present.
  2. Listen to people. People on the farm are responsible for the everyday success of biosecurity. Listen to them so that you understand the difficulties involved, how well the farm’s procedures are understood, and how much people feel responsible for the process. These conversations will often reveal several flaws.
  3. Explain Why: Nobody likes to receive orders without knowing the goal. Training and explanations for the people on the farm are important so that everyone understands the reason for biosecurity procedures, what is at risk, and how to prevent incidents.
  4. Keep it simple. Biosecurity procedures and manuals need to be clear and objective. For example, put information in bullets. Do not separate production and biosecurity procedures. Always include biosecurity procedures when training people. Use colors and figures to describe procedures. Explanatory videos are also great tools.
  5. Audit: Audits are welcome to ensure procedures are followed and to identify opportunities for improvement. Make observational audits to verify these points. Audits are also great for monitoring the evolution of the farm as they provide numbers to track developments. Finally, audits can be used to recognize and reward people’s efforts.

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