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Brook Ledge Shares Bio Security Tips and Recipes
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Bio Security is nothing new to one of the oldest equine horse transport companies in the USA. Whether delivering a Kentucky Derby winner to the next race of the Triple Crown, the record yearling sold at auction, a broodmare to her big date, or Olympic Champions to the next big event, Brook Ledge and Horse America has always taken the responsibly of the billions of dollars of living cargo they move around the world, very seriously.
The Kentucky Derby has been postponed to the fall, the Olympics moved to 2021, the Las Vegas World Cup Final and other top events have been cancelled. But that hasn’t stopped the essential needs of the movement of horses around the country, even though there is a shift in what the destination might be, and the reason why.
We are all waiting out the long term affects that COVID 19 “ said Director of Flight Operations and Director of biosecurity at Brook Ledge, Scarlette Gotwals DVM. “ Meanwhile, we have ramped up all biosecurity measures, to protect our drivers, staff, clients and the horses in our care.”
Dr. Gotwals has always supported a hygienic environment in the business of shipping horses. That is why upgraded protocols were able to be started immediately with what was already in stock. Standard operating procedures are all the same whether it is personnel in office dispatch, CDL drivers, or staff taking care of horses in layover barns. “We ask that medical gloves be used with the face mask while maintaining social distancing, as standard daily procedures."
With an ongoing process in place they were able to easily order products to support their local and long distance drivers, as well as their office staff located in three locations, Ocala, Florida, Lexington, Kentucky and their bas headquarters in Oley, Pennsylvania.
“Everyone is looking for the same supplies,” comments Judy Doyle, Brook Ledge Bio Security manager in Ocala. . “ It makes you not even want to ask the store clerk if they have any or if you just can’t find the right aisle.”
“We knew we had to start making our hand sanitizer in house. I am sure you have heard a few different suggestions." added Doyle.
Hand sanitizer recipes vary a little from 70% alcohol or higher, to aloe vera gel or lotion to what type of scent you can add. The scents for some batches were more necessary with the higher alcohol content more like 99%. Not always easy to obtain.
Even aloe vera can be different in consistency by brand. Sometimes you can find pure aloe vera gel and more often there was a supply of aloe vera after sun care that included moisturizers. Dolye worked closely with Stacey Frieze at the Lexington, Kentucky and Oley, PA offices to share the following formula on how to make hand sanitizer in bulk, thus multiplying risk mitigation.
Use this link for instructions.
With all the variations mentioned, start with making one cup at a time for the first new batch. As the products blended with a known result, make 3 cups at time for bulk sanitizer to be made. The oils of citrus, lavender and tea tree were used. Each batch varied in how many drops were added for personal discretion. For instance lavender and tea tree, Scarlette used half the recommended amount to make the scent softer. Where the citrus oil she used the full recommended amount per cup.
For wipes there are two kinds; One for the hands and another for surfaces. Hand wipes are simple to make and Dr. Gotwals assisted with a tutorial. A ziplock bag with 70% alcohol on a heavy approved paper towel. This makes it always available for you in your car or personal bag. However, for surfaces wipes that kill a virus within a minute, proper direction and protective gloves need to be reviewed.
Reminding drivers the areas that get a lot of contact need constant attention and so a new routine was set. Industrial wipes in large containers were separated and made into individual size bags with labeling. Wearing gloves and using these industrial wipes for areas like the steering wheel, directional signals, door handles, radio dials and gear shift are just a few of the daily process, sometimes done several times a day.
The drivers start off with a wipe down before they get on the road and have supplies to continue with the cleaning as needed in between each farm or road stop with an interaction. For areas outside the truck cab there are gooseneck trailers and tractor trailers with latches on the outside that use a spray virucide.
"The only way to get through this is to use what we know and be emphatic about it. In protecting ourselves we also help protect others."
The Brook Ledge biosecurity Facebook page has now been made public in the hopes it may help someone else.