A Guide to Visiting Farms and Plant Nurseries

Visitors to farms and plant nurseries have an important role to play in reducing the risk of introducing and spreading diseases and pests to those places.

Animal diseases and plant pests can have a significant and widespread negative impact. They are a threat to the agricultural industry and they can affect the economy, the environment and wildlife. They can even affect people's health.

Infectious diseases and pests spread in many ways, including

  • direct contact with an animal or plant, and
  • indirect contact through contaminated soil, equipment, clothing and footwear.

When visiting a farm or plant nursery, you can help keep yourself and Canada's animals and plants healthy.

If you have recently travelled to a country where foot-and-mouth disease or other serious diseases exist, avoid contact with animals for at least 14 days after returning to Canada. This includes contact with wildlife, farm animals and zoo animals. As well as, when on a farm, let the staff know where you have been.

Before visiting a farm or plant nursery, ask yourself:

  • Is your visit necessary? Site visits increase the risk of the spread of diseases and pests.
  • Are you allowed to be there? Get permission before visiting a farm or a plant nursery.
  • Did you call ahead to ask about a designated parking area? Never park near animal holding areas.
  • Do you know the sign-in procedures? Review the visitors policy when you arrive.
  • When was the last time you visited a farm or plant nursery, or had contact with wild animals? If it has been within the last two days, postpone your visit for at least 48 hours to avoid possible contamination.

When you are on-site:

  • Follow all established on-site safety and biosecurity practices.
  • Wear clean footwear and clothing, or borrow coveralls and boot covers onsite.
  • Wash your hands and clean your footwear with detergent and water before entering and leaving the premises.
  • Minimize contact with animals unless absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid contact with animal feed and water supplies.
  • Always ask before feeding animals and only feed animals with food that the farmer provides.
  • Do not bring your own food or beverages into animal areas and do not smoke while on the premises.
  • Avoid touching machinery or exploring the farm or plant nursery without a guide.

Biosecurity is very important to the success of the farm or plant nursery you are visiting. Keeping farms and plant nurseries safe and free of disease is a best practice that is also good common sense.

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