Biose­cu­rity main­tains flock health

Un­der­stand­ing the risks

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

The first step in cre­at­ing and im­ple­ment­ing a suc­cess­ful biose­cu­rity pro­gramme is to un­der­stand the risks. Biose­cu­rity is risk man­age­ment and there will al­ways be a bal­ance be­tween cost and biose­cu­rity in­ter­ven­tions. There­fore, a risk as­sess­ment will help de­velop a tar­geted pro­gramme to limit or elim­i­nate the in­tro­duc­tion of

Tdis­ease to the birds.

Main­tain­ing good flock health

o un­der­stand the risks it’s im­por­tant to know what avian species are on your door step - the dis­ease pres­sures. This can be com­mer­cial poul­try sites, back­yard chick­ens or lo­cal at­trac­tions such as open wa­ter sources that at­tract large wild bird pop­u­la­tions.

Keep tight con­trol on vis­i­tors

Make it clear that in the in­ter­ests of flock health, strict biose­cu­rity mea­sures are fol­lowed. All gates to the farm or en­ter­prise should be locked, with in­struc­tions for any vis­i­tor to con­tact the site man­ager be­fore en­try to the site. Make sure all vis­i­tors have

a gen­uine pur­pose to at­tend the site. Get them to sign in a vis­i­tors’ book, stat­ing the rea­son for their pres­ence, and whether they have had con­tact with other poul­try over the past 72 hours.

Show­er­ing on site

The best pro­ce­dure is pro­vide a shower and change of cloth­ing and boots for all vis­i­tors as well as em­ploy­ees. More sites are adopt­ing these good pro­ce­dures.

Ve­hi­cles and equip­ment

Only es­sen­tial ve­hi­cles and equip­ment should be per­mit­ted on to the farm. If ve­hi­cles have to en­ter, they should be thor­oughly dis­in­fected, pay­ing close at­ten­tion to the ex­te­rior, wheels, and wheel arches. Al­low­ing tools and equip­ment on to the site should also be min­imised, es­pe­cially those that have been used on other farms. Equip­ment brought on to the farm should un­dergo dis­in­fec­tion.

Foot dips and boot chang­ing

Too of­ten foot dips are ne­glected with the wa­ter be­com­ing con­tam­i­nated with leaves and soil, and the dis­in­fec­tant de­ac­ti­vated. Ide­ally, use a cov­ered foot dip out­side each house, mea­sure the di­lu­tion rate ac­cu­rately and change the so­lu­tion ev­ery one to two days.

Al­ter­na­tively, boot chang­ing in the poul­try house is a proven way of re­duc­ing dis­ease chal­lenges. This is eas­ier to carry out us­ing different coloured boots for in­side and out­side the chicken house. Se­condly, a spe­cific area should be de­fined, such as a phys­i­cal bar­rier or a line on the floor, which will set the bound­aries for us­ing the out­side and in­side boots and limit any cross-con­tam­i­na­tion risks.

Guard against ver­min and wild birds

Check bait­ing points for rats and mice ev­ery week, and make sure the hous­ing is ver­min proof. Pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to worn door seals, vents and drain holes. Keep the grass closely mown. Avoid feed spills; a cy­clone is much bet­ter than a sock to cover the feed ex­haust pipe. And cut any over­hang­ing trees or branches to dis­cour­age wild birds.

Staff aware­ness

Biose­cu­rity is only ef­fec­tive if it ap­plies to ev­ery­one all the time. Cre­at­ing a biose­cu­rity cul­ture is crit­i­cal to achieve buy-in from staff - en­sur­ing for ex­am­ple that boots are dipped and hand sani­tis­ers used ev­ery time. Con­tin­ual train­ing of staff around the crit­i­cal con­trol points and ex­plain­ing their sig­nif­i­cance is a vi­tal part of any biose­cu­rity pro­gramme.

Qual­ity peo­ple make the dif­fer­ence

The im­por­tance of com­pe­tent, proac­tive peo­ple man­ag­ing the birds can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated. The man­age­ment tech­niques are mean­ing­less if the per­son re­spon­si­ble for the birds doesn’t have the cor­rect skill set to get the most out of the flock.

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