Low pathogen levels translate into lower production costs, higher profits and better environmental conditions. Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms are everywhere. They often constitute major problems to enterprises that grow animals as they cause disease or impact animal health such as weakening the immune system or diverting nutrients and energy away from animal growth and development.

Pathogens lead to economic losses as they cause production losses and unrealised income, expensive medications (most of these being antibiotics), environmental impact and even health hazards for staff in some cases.

Industrial livestock production provides a perfect setting for pathogen growth, as many animals are raised in limited spaces. Animals can cope with these microorganisms in natural surroundings, but in industrial conditions, the spread of bacteria and viruses will inevitably hurt animal growth, resulting in higher morbidity and mortality. Today, the principal approach to combating this risk involves the use of chemicals and antibiotics. Unfortunately, this approach is not sustainable in the long term. Microorganisms quickly develop resistance against commonly used medicines and leave no chance for effective disease control.

Industrial animal production requires a new approach, where disease prevention plays the most important role. The best protection of farm animal health is the implementation of a complete biosecurity system. It is the cheapest way of preventing diseases and its importance is equal to genetics, feeding and climate control in industrial animal production. All together with proper management are the key foundations of profitable and sustainable animal production.

"Biosecurity is a strategic and integrated approach that encompasses the policy and regulatory frameworks (including instruments and activities) for analysing and managing relevant risks to human, animals and plant life and health, and associated risks to the environment. Thus, biosecurity is a holistic concept of direct relevance to the sustainability of agriculture and wide-ranging aspects of public health and protection of the environment, including biological diversity," the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

The biosecurity system is capable of preventing the import or transmission of pathogens across the farm. It is a system of measures dedicated to isolate the production zone and restrict the introduction of dangerous microorganisms via feed, water, bedding materials, movement of animals and people.

Biosecurity practices should be implemented in daily routine operations to prevent an accidental spread of pathogens. With this regard, sound hygiene is vital for pathogen control. Thorough cleaning and effective disinfection are the most important tools for maintaining good hygiene in animal premises. Cleaning with detergents and a wise selection of disinfectants can decrease significantly the risk of transmitting pathogens from one batch to another, thus playing an important role in disease prevention.

The only disadvantage of liquid disinfectants is the restriction of application on clean and dry surfaces to achieve effective action. It is not possible to use liquid disinfectants during the production cycle in the presence of animals and organic matter. With this regard, some practices in Asia concerning air disinfection with a low concentration of liquid disinfectants seems to be more promoted than their practical effects.

The economic benefit of air disinfection is debatable. The only way to maintain good hygiene in the presence of animals is the implementation of a treatment programme with dry disinfectant Stalosan F (distributed by Vilofoss Denmark). It is specially developed for application in the presence of animals not deactivated by organic materials. The efficacy of one application of Stalosan F can last for a week.

Stalosan F effectively controls bacteria, virus and fungi and thus decrease the need for medications. As a result, Stalosan F is capable of reducing resistant pathogen strains and provides a safe environment for farm animals. It significantly contributes to the farm biosecurity programme and helps prevent diseases outbreaks and pathogen transmission across the farm.

Practical experiences show the production of a significant economic effect - a reduction of mortality and morbidity, which helps to increase the income of industrial animal production.

Stalosan F is a non-toxic product and can be used continuously without any negative side effect on both animals and humans. Its efficacy and quality are supported by laboratory tests and field trials. Also, a skilled technical team will provide customer support for the product anywhere in the world.

Stalosan is used by farmers for over 50 years to effectively control pathogens and support sustainable animal performance.

- Dr. Plamen Nikolov, Stalosan Product Manager, Vilofoss Denmark

Visit Vilofoss at: www.vilofoss.com