Many beef and dairy operations don’t have an official “office” where visitors check in and out, whether they are veterinarians, salesmen, feed delivery folks, hoof trimmers, etc.

But even if they don’t, should they have some sort of visitors’ log? The Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH) thinks so. Danelle Bickett-Weddle, DVM, MPH, PhD, Dipl ACVPM, of the CFSPH at Iowa State University says, “These are especially important for anyone having livestock contact.”

For example, she says, the veterinarian, breeders, hoof trimmers, vaccinating crews, treatment crews, etc. should be logged in and out when possible. “Recording details such as last livestock contact prior to coming to your operation is important should a disease issue arise,” she says. “Contact info for the actual person is also important should they need to be reached for notification purposes.”

Those with farm contact but no direct animal contact pose less of a risk to transmitting organisms to animals, Bickett-Weddle notes. They should be encouraged to avoid animal contact unless they follow farm-specific protocols (dedicated farm clothing, footwear). ”Recording every person’s movement onto/off of an operation can be daunting as a daily routine, but should a disease outbreak occur, it will become imperative.”

See an example of a visitors’ log from CFSPH here.