Setting up a staff and visitor footbath

Know the signs for Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease

Footbaths can be an effective tool to minimise the risk of bringing disease onto a property from contaminated footwear. However, the use of footbaths alone will not protect your farm from disease and needs to be part of a whole farm biosecurity plan. 
You also may consider having dedicated footwear and clothing, which remain on-site, for all staff and visitors who come on-farm.

For footbaths to be effective, it is critical that you: 

  1. Use an effective chemical/decontamination agent.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s directions and ensure the concentration of disinfectant is correct.
  3. Regularly refresh footbaths based on usage or lifespan of the chemical. 

Importantly, contamination with mud, manure, or dirt, will reduce the effectiveness of the chemical so always scrub footwear with a general-purpose detergent and water prior to applying disinfectant.

Which product should I use? 

The product you choose needs to be effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi and must be registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). 

The most common products used for footbaths on dairy farms are oxidising agents (examples include Virkon®, Viraban®, Virugaurd®, ViralFX® and others) used at 1:100 dilution. These products are readily purchased from your veterinarian or rural supplies store. 

APVMA Permit PER83649 lists additional disinfectant products that may be used in case of an outbreak of Foot-and-mouth Disease (FMD) and includes details on the situations, rates, and cautionary statements for chemicals listed as suitable for treatment of equipment, fabric, and surfaces.

How to set up an effective on-farm footbath

Watch the practical how-to video for cleaning and disinfecting footwear on farm below. 

  • On-Farm Footbath set upPDF565.87 KB


All chemicals must be used according to manufacturer’s directions and current health and safety legislation. 

When diluting concentrated chemicals, appropriate PPE must be worn. The concentrate should always be added to water, never water to concentrate.

Material safety data sheets (MSDSs) must be available where chemicals are stored or used. MSDSs are supplied by the manufacturer and contain information on the identity, physical characteristics, health hazards and precautions to be taken for safe storage, use and disposal of the chemical. These are a critical source of safety information and should be consulted before using cleaning materials and disinfectants.

If poisoning occurs, contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (Australia).


Disinfectants used in footbaths are potentially noxious substances and may have adverse impacts on the environment. Always read the label directions for correct disposal of chemicals. Take care to not contaminate any natural water systems (such as ponds, dams, or streams) with any unused diluted chemical, used containers or undiluted products or powder.


You're viewing the Dairy Australia website. To view regional dairy information, select a region.
Cookies help Dairy Australia improve your website experience. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.