buying an old livestock barn-previous disease worries?

Asked August 13, 2016, 9:00 AM EDT

When I am looking at an old barn, to buy and reconvert, to house my own pigs, cows,sheep and dogs and...me, how worried should I be about possible previous diseases in tis barn: brucellosis, tuberculosis, hog cholera, etc...if there are no records, what lab tests light I be able to do, to check? Or is there one disinfectant that will eliminate the risk, that I can apply?

Montgomery County Alabama livestock

1 Response

The response below comes from the Clemson Extension Veterinarian. She mentions SC being tuberculosis and brucellosis free (eradicated). Alabama is also free of those diseases. I hope it is helpful.

Shouldn’t worry about Brucellosis, Tuberculosis or hog cholera, because they are eradicated in SC. Hog cholera is not in the USA. We do continue to monitor for these diseases, to ensure that we remain free.

The diseases that I would worry about that could be on the premises are Johne’s disease, salmonella and ringworm. Johne’s and salmonella are usually with the manure, so clean out the barn as much as possible of any fecal/manure material. Would not spread on grazing pastures.

Sunshine and “time” help to reduce the bacteria.

Johne’s bacteria last the longest in the environment- up to 18 months in a pond. Ringworm affects the skin when they rub against infected wood in the barn. Very difficult to disinfect the fences.

Testing for any of these diseases is difficult- like looking for a “needle” in a hay stack. Do not recommend testing, because a negative test does not mean that it is not there.