Disinfectant Cuts Bacterial Spread on Foot Trimming Equipment

UK - Disinfecting foot trimming equipment cuts the spread of bacterial infection by 68 per cent, recent studies have highlighted.
calendar icon 13 January 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

The study found that after disinfecting cattle blades, Treponeme, the bacteria responsible for causing digital dermatitis (DD), was only present on 29 per cent of cattle trimming blades, compared to 97 per cent of equipment not disinfected.

Alison Clark, Progiene’s product manager, explains the importance of the research in tackling lameness within the dairy industry.

“Lameness remains a significant animal health and productivity issue, but this research highlights how the bacterial source can be significantly reduced through good hygiene practices.

“The importance of disinfecting foot trimming equipment between each animal was emphasised,” says Mrs Clark.

Time, temperature and concentration are the key factors Mrs Clark identifies, when looking to kill infectious bacteria responsible for causing lameness in cattle.

“Immersing the blade of any equipment that has been in contact with the hoof, in a solution containing a disinfectant, at a maximum concentration of 2 per cent , which is the equivalent to 20ml per litre of cold water, is recommended.

“A broad spectrum disinfectant, based on the compound glutaraldehyde is one of the most effective methods of killing the bacteria,” she adds.

“I would also suggest changing the solution between every 10 animals, to limit soiling of the solution, and the risk of bacteria spreading,” she adds.

Mrs Clark also recommends washing down surfaces, and maintaining a good level of on-farm biosecurity as additional measures which should not be overlooked when tackling lameness within the herd.

“Contractors brought on-farm to do the foot trimming, are also a potential risk of infection.

Encouraging them to disinfect all their equipment, including their boots, between farms is good practice and will reduce the risk of bringing in any new strains of bacteria.

“The more we can do to help with the spread of infection between animals and between farms can only help in tackling industry’s on-going challenge of lameness,” add Mrs Clark.

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