RAHMS Biosecurity ProtocoL

VTH Policy #Bio414

Implementation Date: 

Date of Last Revision: 

Next Review Due:


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 

Reviewed by VTH Board: 


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: N/A

Subject to modification by the Biosecurity Subcommittee of the CVM Occupational Health and Safety Committee without approval.


Faculty and staff (employees and volunteers), and students must follow the RAHMS Biosecurity Protocol when having direct contact with animals while working in the VTH and adhere to measures taken to limit the spread of infectious agents. 


  • This policy applies to all faculty, staff (employees and volunteers), and students having direct contact with animals while working in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH). 

  • This policy describes measures to be taken to limit the spread of infectious agents through the Hospital, indications for appropriate management of patients suspected/confirmed to have contagious/zoonotic infectious diseases and administrative monitoring of patients having infectious diseases.
    1. The RAHMS biosecurity policy serves to establish and maintain procedures which prevent: 
       1.1. spread of contagious disease from affected animals to susceptible animals
       1.2. transmission of zoonotic disease from affected animals to students, clients, hospital employees and volunteers
       1.3. exposure of contagious disease patients to other infectious agents

  • To do this it is necessary to: 
     1. identify animals likely to transmit disease 
     2. effectively communicate infectious disease status to clients, students, hospital staff and laboratory personnel

Procedure (if applicable)


  1. Coveralls and washable boots must be worn whenever working in Ward 1. 
  2. Coveralls and boots should not be worn outside of Ward 1 unless ongoing care is being provided to a patient (e.g. radiology, surgery). If work attire is worn outside of Ward 1:
       2.1. Wash and disinfect boots before leaving Ward 1
       2.2. Change overalls before leaving if the overalls are soiled.
  3. Soiled coveralls and scrubs should be changed between patients and/or procedures.
  4. Boots should be washed and disinfected between patients.
  5. Whenever practical, wear gloves when working with animals. Wash hands and change gloves between patients.
  6. Hose off stocks and chutes between patients from different farms.
  7. No food or drink for human consumption can be brought into Ward 1.
  8. Boot wash stations need to be recharged at least daily.
  9. Wash hands thoroughly before leaving the ward.
  10. Additional PPE is available in the closet at the entrance to Ward 1. Anyone consulting on patients in Ward 1 is expected to wear PPE. Used PPE may be discarded in the bins at the exit to the ward for laundering.


  1. Stalls will be marked with green, yellow or red cards indicating level of risk. 
    1.1. Green: Healthy animal (i.e. elective surgery or calving watch)
    1.2. Yellow: Sick animal with moderate risk of disease transfer (i.e. calf with diarrhea, pneumonia)
    1.3. Red: High risk for transfer to other animals or people (i.e. Salmonella, cryptosporidiosis)
  2. Animals with diarrhea (Yellow card)
    2.1. Wear gloves at all times in the stall
    2.2. Disinfect stethoscope after use on patient.
    2.3. Use dedicated thermometer on patient (provided by FARMS service)
    2.4. After working with animal, wash boots upon exiting the stall, remove overalls, remove gloves and wash hands or use hand sanitizer.
    2.5. Patient should be confined to stall. If it is absolutely necessary to perform procedures outside the stall (i.e. radiography), chutes, equipment and path of travel               should be disinfected or sprayed down with Virkon S.
    2.6. Designate specific bottles/nipples for each neonate and label as such to prevent 
  3. Animals with a disease or suspected disease that has above average zoonotic risk (e.g. Salmonella, Cryptosporidia) or above average risk to other animals (e.g. vesicular lesions) (Red card)
    3.1. Full isolation protocol should be implemented.
    3.2. Notices must be placed on stall indicating possible infectious disease
    3.3. Gloves, plastic boots and isolation suits should be worn at all times in the stall. Put on gloves first, followed by suit, then boots. Remove in reverse order when                leaving isolation area.
    3.4. Place Virkon S foot bath outside the isolation area and walk through it to exit isolation area.
    3.5. A designated isolation cart with designated equipment should be used exclusively on the isolated patient. All equipment should be disinfected at completion of               course of treatment.
    3.6. Patient should be confined to stall at all times.
    3.7. Traffic around the isolated stall should be reduced to the absolute minimum.
    3.8. Students working with the isolated patient should not be assigned to additional cases.
  4. Animals with clinical signs of respiratory disease
    4.1. Wear gloves when in contact with patient
    4.2. Disinfect stethoscope, thermometer and other equipment after use on patient.
    4.3. House in stall as far away from other patients as possible.


  1. Healthy or non-infectious neonates must be handled first.
  2. Animals with confirmed or suspected infectious disease must be handled last moving from the lowest risk animal to the highest risk animal. The above noted biocontainment procedures 
    must be followed between all patients regardless of perceived risk.


  1. Boots must be cleaned and disinfected before leaving the farm or stored in plastic bags if it is not practical to clean the boots on site. All boots must be disinfected in the ambulatory garage on return.
  2. Coveralls must be removed and placed in plastic bags before leaving the farm. Do not wear the same overalls between farms.
  3. Outwear must be laundered upon return. The washers and driers in LAC are available for student use.
  4.  Equipment used on the farm must be cleaned and disinfected before further use

Definitions (if applicable)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.

Zoonotic disease – Diseases transmissible between people and animals

Keywords:zoonotic, PPE, contagious, disease, transmission, affected, exposure, monitor, laboratory, boot, coverall, Ward, stall, diarrhea, suspected, isolation, biosecurity, risk, neonate, infect, salmonella, risk, contaminate   Doc ID:123972
Owner:Jenny C.Group:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created:2023-02-09 16:47 CDTUpdated:2023-02-09 17:12 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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