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Information for Trainers | Bio Security & Cleaning Advice

Bio-Security & Cleaning Advice to Trainers for Residential Kennels

Deep cleaning and a daily routine of cleaning and disinfection of all kennels and transport vehicles are key to preventing and stopping the spread of dangerous bacteria.

Deep Cleansing
Deep cleansing is very labour intensive, and is normally reserved for instances where disease has entered a kennels, or where low grade disease cannot be resolved. The effort required for a proper cleansing and disinfection (sometimes called deep cleaning) is reduced when the routine bio-security procedures are used, since the kennels will already be fairly clean. Vehicles used for transporting greyhounds will also need to be included in this programme.

Any dogs will need to be removed out of the kennels which are to be cleaned and moved to a secure area.

Protective clothing and observance of health and safety regulations is very important due to the hazards of pressure washing and disinfectant spraying in enclosed spaces.

Cleansing and disinfection is broken down into several stages:

  1. Removal of bedding (for burning), temporary dividers, cages, tables and equipment, and the emptying of food stores so that the inaccessible areas can be reached. Cabinets and food stores not fixed down will also need to be removed for cleaning.

  2. Cleaning of all soiled areas, the removal of all grease and hair, high level dust and cobwebs from all surfaces including the items removed in step 1.

  3. Pressure washing, preferably with a steam cleaner. All organic debris must be removed at this stage to avoid concealing and protecting any germs. Putty knives and small brushes are very useful here. Take care with electrical fixings to avoid water ingress, or better still turn off the power and seek professional advice on protecting the electrics. Remember to clean the outside walls and concrete areas, and the removed items from step 1.

  4. An approved disinfectant made up to the correct dilution is then sprayed onto all surfaces. This is allowed to dry.

  5. Repairs can be made at this time, including the sealing of concrete and brick-work. For cleanliness and hygiene reasons, we know that wooden kennels are not ideal so must have a greater frequency of cleaning and disinfection. In the longer term, if residential kennels are to be renovated then they should be replaced with brick built or equivalent.

  6. Another application of disinfectant may be used and allowed to dry.

  7. The removable items should also be treated, including the additional sterilization of all feeding equipment and utensils with cold sterilizing solutions.

  8. Due to the amounts of water and disinfectant that are likely to be used, consideration must be given to the ways in which the dirty water will leave the premises, including the possible contamination of water supplies.

Once the disinfectant has dried, the equipment may be reinstalled and the kennels put back into use. Record the date, and the name and amount of disinfectant used.

Deep cleansing and disinfection can be built into the general yearly routines for a kennel, with bio-security procedures in use during the daily running of the kennel.

Routine Bio-Security in Residential Kennels
Hand washing. Hand washing with plain soaps or detergents suspends micro-organisms and allows them to be rinsed off; hand washing with antimicrobial-containing products kills or inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Protective clothing is a physical barrier to infection which can be easily replaced. Boiler suits and rubber boots are the simplest. Dirty overalls can be washed at 60 °C after removing any obvious soiling. Attention should be paid to the grips on the boot soles where matter can be trapped.

Decontamination. Before disinfection, contaminated surfaces should be cleaned. Tables, floors, cages, walls, and doors should be physically cleaned of obvious matter. They can either be scraped when dry, or wetted first to loosen hardened matter. Small hand-held steam cleaners are available for stubborn areas.

Disinfection of floors and surfaces, as well as of the utensils and bowls in daily use, is the basis of reducing the amount of germs in the environment, and this will decrease the risk of disease.

Individual food and water bowls should be provided as these provide an easy method of disease transfer. Food bowls must be kept clean and not left in the kennels where the food and saliva may dry on the bowl. Fresh water must be available at all times. Shared water bowls in the paddocks should be avoided in each greyhound is supplied with a clean bowl and fresh water, to be removed when the dog is removed.

Muzzles should be washed and then dipped in a disinfectant solution after each use.

Race jackets and bedding should be washed at 60 °C (or the hottest allowable for the material). Clean bedding should always be provided.

Ventilation. Adequate ventilation is important in removing stagnant air. Dogs kept in poorly ventilated kennels do tend to cough more due to the build up of dusts and ammonia fumes.

Transport: all vans or vehicles should be included in the routine disinfection procedure.

Isolation. All dogs with suspected infectious diseases should be kept in an isolated area of the kennel, this means a separate building with its own doors and airspace. The number of staff members entering the isolation area should be kept to a minimum, ideally being dedicated just to the care of the isolated animals. Upon entry into the isolation area, outerwear should be removed and disposable shoe covers placed over the shoes or a footbath filled with disinfectant should be placed by the exit and used when leaving the area. New dogs brought into the kennels should be isolated in the same manner for seven days and also observed for any signs of ill-health. Veterinary attention should be sought if in doubt.

At Times of Increased Disease Risk
A Foot bath with the approved disinfectant at the entrance to the kennel block will encourage cleanliness. The solution must be changed as organic matter inactivates some disinfectants and can be a source of infection. An ideal method is to have a plain water bath to remove the gross soiling, then the disinfectant in a second bath. A stiff-bristle boot brush should be provided, and a nearby hose point for washing off mud.