The integrated and concentrated poultry industry requires much stricter
and coordinated biosecurity instructions and measures to prevent
considerable biological and economical losses. Management practices are
designed to prevent introduction, spreading and causing loss of
Prevent disease transmission by humans
• Prevent unauthorized access to poultry farms and other poultry industry facilities,
• All people should shower and change clothes entering to farm or poultry facilities,
• Maintain visitors’ record,
• Sanitizing your hands and boots when entering and leaving poultry houses or other poultry facility’s operational units,
• Clean and disinfect all equipment and materials before bringing into farm or poultry facilities,
• Visit the youngest flock always first.
Prevent disease transmission by animals
• ‘All in-all out’ system is obligatory on poultry farm to prevent circulation, transmission of diseases,
• The longer the downtime (service period) the lower risk of disease transmission between flocks; downtime should not be less than 7 days!
• Keep wild birds, other animals out of all poultry facilities, maintain an effective rodent, insect program,
• Store litter, feed and other materials used in poultry house inside and enclosed storage bin or building,
• Keep order on the whole site of poultry farm, facilities
The poultry company’s biosecurity coordinator (veterinary surgeon or manager) should develop, implement, maintain and monitor the ongoing effectiveness of the poultry integration’s and facilities, including farm’s biosecurity program. A biosecurity program should be reviewed at least once a year and revised as necessary. This responsibility cannot be leaved to officials as administrative procedure, as biosecurity is primary interest of the poultry company.
The poultry operation’s (breeder farms, hatchery, production farms, processing plant, further processing plant and logistic) biosecurity program should include training materials that cover site-specific and companywide procedures. Responsible management should complete the biosecurity training, and it should be done once a year and documented. New employees should be trained at the time of hiring.
Isolated poultry facilities
As all poultry facilities are related to live poultry or food, very clear and strict biosecurity measures must be implemented to prevent as possible all kind of infections, including wild birds, other animals (wild or domestic), viruses, bacteria, parasites, rodents or insects. All poultry facilities must be fenced in and managed according to black and white isolation system.
Line of separation
As poultry diseases can travel in the facilities, poultry house on workers, so a real, physical barrier is needed to create a line of separation and ensure clean and dirty areas are actually separated. A line of tape on the ground will not work. A three-stage, anteroom setup is best, but something as simple as a bench is effective. The line of separation is a functional line that separates the poultry house and the birds inside from exposure to disease. It is defined as the walls of the poultry building with practical deviations to account for entry points, structural aspects or outside access areas.
Perimeter buffer area
The perimeter buffer area, to limit transmission of the disease the area surrounding the poultry house or area where poultry is raised, or poultry products are produced, separating the birds, products from areas unrelated to poultry production and/or adjoining properties. It includes the poultry houses and poultry-raising areas, nearby structures and high-traffic areas involved in the daily function of the farm, such as feed bins, manure sheds, composting areas, egg rooms, generators and pump rooms. In the past, farmers believed they had a safe, clean perimeter if they drew an imaginary line around the farm. The HPAI outbreak reinforced that this is not an effective strategy. The line of separation between clean and dirty areas should be drawn around the poultry houses and it should be an actual, secure barrier. Furthermore, a secure buffer area needs to be established around the farm itself to limit the risk of disease transmission.
A biosecurity program should include provisions that address procedures and biosecurity personal protection equipment for employees and non-farm personnel, when entering the poultry facilities, farms and crossing the line of separation. Again, employees need to be trained in proper procedure to ensure the line of separation is effective and preventing the spread of disease.
Wild birds, other animals, rodents and insects
Farms should have in place control measures that prevent contact with and protect poultry from wild birds, other animals, their fences and their feathers, as well as rodents, insects. These measures should be reviewed during periods of heightened risk of disease transmission. Poultry facility managers, farmers need to ask themselves how they are defending their facility, farms from these disease vectors. A plan should be created to ensure the bait stations are being properly checked at least every 48 hours. If they are not properly monitored, they are not effective.
Equipment and vehicles
A farm’s biosecurity plan should include procedures for cleaning, disinfection or restriction of sharing equipment. Vehicle access and traffic patterns should be defined in the biosecurity plan, what they have to do before entering and leaving, how they can enter and leave. Disease can travel on the farm through vehicles, so some form of barrier must be established. Beyond truck washes and vehicle controls, farmers need to consider what kind of barriers to entry they have on their farm to keep unwanted visitors out. A fence or gate is needed, with a no trespassing sign can create a legally effective barrier to entry.
Dead poultry should be collected daily, stored and disposed of in a manner that does not attract wild birds, rodents, insects and other animals and minimizes the potential for cross contamination from other facilities. Dead bird disposal is recommended to be on-site, needs to be considered as part of disease control. Staff must be trained on an established mortality disposal procedure. Everything should be disposed of so that disease is not spread further, and it must not violate the sanctity of clean areas.
Manure and litter management
Manure and spent litter should be removed, stored and disposed of in a manner that prevents exposure of susceptible poultry to disease, and being disposed of in accordance with local laws. On-site litter and manure storage should limit the attraction of wild birds, rodents, insects and other animals. In addition, inform others in the areas about the litter disposal process and what diseases it could possibly contain.
Replacement poultry should come from disease free, health-monitored flocks and should be transported in equipment and vehicles that are regularly cleaned, disinfected and inspected.
Drinking water and water used for evaporative cooling should be sourced from a contained supply such as a well or municipal system. If drinking water comes from a surface water source, water treatment must be used to reduce the level of disease agents. If surfaces have been cleaned or flushed with surface water, subsequent disinfection should be employed to prevent disease transmission. If water treatment is not possible, a risk analysis should be performed to determine actions needed to mitigate risks.
Feed and replacement litter
Feed, feed ingredients, bedding and litter should be delivered, stored and maintained in a manner that limits exposure to and contamination by wild birds, rodents, insects and other animals. Feed spills should be cleaned up and disposed of in a timely fashion. Feed and litter is becoming a more important issue as farmers look to reduce their exposure to Salmonella. Furthermore, procedures reducing the risk of possible disease exposure from delivery vehicles need to be established.
Reporting of elevated morbidity and mortality
Elevation in morbidity and/or mortality above expected levels should be reported as required in the farm’s biosecurity plan and appropriate actions should be taken to rule out reportable disease agents. Number of birds per day that have to be ill or dead before you call someone have to be fixed, including the person calling. Mortality can sky rocket inside of three days after exposure to HPAI, which begs the question of how soon farmers are reacting to elevated mortality events. Train farm workers and farm managers to recognize elevated mortality and create a mortality threshold for an elevated response.
Biosecurity audits should be conducted at least once every two years by managers which are normally controlled by officials. Farm managers should be able to fill out audit report spelling out key points in the biosecurity plan like the lines of separation and buffer areas as well as the crisis response plan.