How to use a hygiene lock

In order to achieve a high production result, the disease pressure must be kept as low as possible. A strategy is to opt for a Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) farm, which means that both the pathogens that are introduced from the outside and the pathogen spread inside the farm is kept as low as possible. A SPF farm is free of certain germs.

To reduce the introduction of disease from outside, a hygiene lock can be used. Entering people and materials can carry many pathogens with them. An example of the process of a hygiene lock at a pig farm is as follows:

  • A visitor is received in a room where the air is filtered.
  • Here the coat and shoes have to be taken off and hands must be disinfected. If applicable, material that must be taken inside must be placed in the UV cabinet.
  • Then access is granted to the changing room. Here you have to shower, where it is mandatory to wash the hair and body. Further access to the company is determined by means of a time switch: the shower must have been on long enough.
  • Then company clothes and clogs can be put on. If necessary, material can be taken from the UV cabinet.
  • Finally, the clogs have to go through the disinfection bin.

In this way, the introduction of pathogens is minimalized. The hygiene lock contributes to reducing disease pressure and thus also to reducing the use of antibiotics.​