Biosecurity in the field

Image of a dirty boot being cleaned with a brush to remove any soil and debris which could be carrying invasive species

Biosecurity means taking steps to make sure that good hygiene practices are in place to reduce and minimise the risk of spreading invasive non-native species.  A good biosecurity routine is always essential, even if invasive non-native species are not always apparent.

Biosecurity should be considered at the earliest stage when planning any field work, from surveying an area to removing non-native species. Some biosecurity measures can be as simple and as quick as making sure footwear is clean.

Basic Biosecurity Advice for biological surveyors in the field

  1. Arrive at the site with clean footwear and vehicle.
  2. Ensure footwear is clean (visually from soil and debris) before leaving the site.
  3. Ensure vehicle is kept clean - in particular remove any accumulated mud before leaving the site.
  4. Make use of facilties provided on the site to clean footwear/equipment.
  5. Keep access to a minimum.
  6. If practical do not take vehicles onto premises, keep to established tracks and park vehicles on hard standing.
  7. Where possible avoid areas of livestock and areas with known plant disease.
  8. Plan visits so that the most risky visit is the last one of the day.

Useful resources

Online biosecurity training

Take free e-learning to improve your understanding of biosecurity. Participants can take a test to check their knowledge and download a certificate once they have passed.

Other resources

The links below provide different examples of specific biosecurity guidance. There are also safety data sheets, which can be used as a guide if using Virkon or sanitising spray.
General field biosecurity: Aquatic biosecurity: Marine biosecurity:
Animal diseases:
Fish diseases:
Amphibian diseases:
Event biosecurity:

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