Find out when you must use a Defra-approved disinfectant, which product to use, and in what concentration.
Disinfectant use for notifiable diseases
By law you must use a Defra-approved disinfectant when there is an outbreak of a notifiable disease.
The list of Defra-approved disinfectants will show you which product to use, and the concentration of the disinfectant you must use. Some products can be used at different concentrations for different diseases.
Disinfectant use for routine cleaning and disinfecting
You must also use Defra-approved disinfectants at the dilution rate shown on the general order list when doing routine cleaning and disinfecting:
- livestock transport vehicles
- animal gathering areas (markets and fairs)
- abattoir vehicles and animal holding areas as part of the regular cleaning routine
Disinfectant use for kennels, catteries and vet surgeries
There is no legal need to use a Defra-approved disinfectant if you run a vet surgery, kennel or cattery, unless there is an outbreak of a notifiable animal disease.
There is more information on the Defra disinfectant approval process and on the used to assess products for Defra approval.
Laws on disinfectant use
The relevant laws on disinfectant use are called disease orders. There are 4 specific disease orders for the following diseases:
- Diseases of Poultry (England) Order 2003 (in Scotland and in Wales) and Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (England) (No 2) Order 2006 (in Scotland and in Wales)
- The Diseases of Swine Regulations 2014
- Foot and Mouth Disease (England) Order 2006 (in Scotland and in Wales)
- The Tuberculosis in Animals (England) Order 2021 (in Scotland and in Wales)
A general order is issued to control an outbreak of notifiable disease not covered in this list. For example, Defra could order approved disinfectants to be used to control an outbreak of bluetongue virus.
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