Facility cleanliness is critical for maintaining compliance with the BC Milk Industry Standards Regulation, and attention should focus on getting the milk house and parlour back into clean condition as time allows. Milk house cleanliness is especially important for allowing milk truck drivers to complete milk pickup without risk of cross contamination. For the cleaning and disinfection of barns, the following recommendations should be considered:

  • Wear appropriate PPE (gloves, boots, Tyvek suits, masks, and eye protection as required)
  • Provide as much airflow to dry out buildings as feasible
  • Water, waste and debris must be removed from the barn prior to any cleaning and disinfection
  • Pressure wash all surfaces with hot water to ensure they are clean of mud and debris.
  • Follow up with a disinfectant like Virkon (used according to label directions). 
  • For those areas that aren’t exposed to adequate air flow to dry out, consider the use of fans or dehumidifiers
  • Thoroughly cleaning surfaces removes the majority of pathogens and is the most important step

Guidance on beginning a barn clean-up inspection

Refer to AgSafe’s Re-entry and Restarting after a Flood package for instructions on how to safely assess hazards and re-enter your property. 

Waste disposal

For information about disposal of waste resulting from flood cleanup efforts at homes in areas impacted by flooding in Abbotsford, visit the City of Abbotsford Website.


Sample dairy barn clean-up checklist.

The below checklist was put together in conjunction with dairy producers to give an idea of what may be needed. Please check with your farm service providers (veterinarian, nutritionist, equipment providers) before commencing clean up to ensure proper protocols are followed.


Loafing cow barn:

o   Bedding removed (sand/sawdust/mats, etc.)

o   Pressure-wash all cow-lick surfaces that were underwater

o   Flush water bowls and lines; Inspect water bowl heaters

o   Dry and lime all stalls

Calf barn:

o   Remove all bedding

o   Disinfect and pressure wash panels and adjoining walls

o   Disinfect all buckets, bottles, etc.

o   Auto calf feeder maintenance

Heifer pens:

o   Same as cows

o   Sawdust packs: remove and replace


Feed bins:

o    If bins are not under water: run auger and check feed

o   Under water/Partially under water: remove feed, disinfect and pressure wash bin

Commodity bays:

o   If wet, even if just the bottom, must remove, mold travels upward

Silage bunks/piles:

o   Remove outside layer if exposed to water

o   Using moisture detector check top to bottom

Round Bale Silage:

o   Do NOT move

o   Silage plastic delicate and will tear when moved

o   Bottom layer of stacked bales: check for damage and moisture

Hay(all types):

o   All wet hay will combust if left in pile – contact BC Dairy if you would like an inspector to check your hay storage

o   Check thoroughly with moisture detector

Feeding Equipment:

o   Clean mixer wagon if under water

o   Clean loaders and buckets if under water


Cattle health considerations.

Click below for a list of considerations for cattle health after a flood event.