Owners of poultry farms will understand the concerns of biosecurity as a way of ensuring the protection of their product and the ability to make a profit. Any lapse in biosecurity could result in an infectious disease taking hold, decimating the stock and severely impacting on the effectiveness of the farm. Biosecurity experts will tell you that there has to be a strong plan in place relating to the health of the animals, with a biosecurity officer, a line of separation and a perimeter buffer area.
Having a strong biosecurity plan for a poultry farm is vital to the smooth running of the operation, with the need for clear protocol, techniques, materials and cleaning equipment and chemicals. If you have all of those things in place you won’t go far wrong with the farm, so what about the three pillars of biosecurity that we mentioned earlier? The movement of people, equipment and the changing of procedures in how to deal with the handling of manure and poultry mortalities on site are all heavily linked to the spread of disease, such as Avian flu.
Allocating resources to deal with these matters should be high priority for the biosecurity plan of every poultry farm.
Having a Biosecurity Officer
A biosecurity officer should have the experience and veterinary knowledge of poultry, or at least be able to consult with someone who does with ease. It is the biosecurity officer who will be in charge of putting together and finalising a biosecurity plan that is specific to that site, and that site alone. It is also his or her responsibility to train all individuals who work on the farm or enter it regularly.
Once the plan has been created and all training completed the biosecurity officer should have the authority to ensure that all protocols are being adhered to correctly and be able to enforce any corrective action that is required over time. As with any site plan it is important to regularly review the detail and ensure that there is continuous improvement and compliance.
A Line of Separation
Keeping each building separated from each other and within its own framework of biosecurity is the only way to ensure there is a minimal chance of the spread of disease throughout the entire farm in the result of a fatality or infection in one section. Each poultry house will form the line of separation, with the line becoming an essential biosecurity measure to separate poultry from potential sources of various viruses. Anyone wishing to enter a new section of the farm and cross a line of separation would have to go through a procedure specific to that farm. This could be the removal of all personal items and clothing that have been worn in a different area, and the cleaning of all equipment that is being brought in or out of that section.
A Perimeter Buffer Area
The perimeter buffer area is crucial and ties in with the last point, its aim being to drastically reduce the chances of a virus entering the production site and contaminating the poultry. This outer control boundary should be set up around the outside of the poultry houses to ensure that any personnel or vehicles that have not been disinfected can still perform necessary tasks without having to fully enter the farm and go through the decontamination process each time.
Content Written By Jacqueline Taylor