8 steps to a biosecure farm

Acting as one of the major lines of defence against disease outbreak, biosecurity is an essential component of owning poultry. All bird keepers, including owners of small backyard flocks, must maintain the utmost levels of biosecurity in order to protect their premises and animals. 

In the midst of the biggest outbreak of avian influenza the UK and Ireland has ever seen, there has never been a more crucial time to address your biosecurity. Enforcing the correct measures can be the difference between an outbreak and outbreak prevention. For farms with poor biosecurity or substantial biosecurity breaches, the risk of poultry exposure to HPAI H5 across the country is high with low uncertainty, moving to a low risk for premises with stringent biosecurity protocols in place. 

As biosecurity experts, with years of experience in both notifiable and non-notifiable disease outbreaks, the Livetec team has outlined 8 key steps to making your farm biosecure:

STEP 1: RECORD KEEPING

By not keeping record of site access, farms are non-compliant, breaching the standards required by governing bodies to own poultry in the UK and Ireland. Insufficient record keeping can significantly prolong operational downtime and further damage the reputation of a business in an outbreak. 

STEP 2: MAINTENANCE

The risk of disease outbreak is inherently increased when a premise is damaged and not well-kept. A lack of maintenance, not just structurally, puts the general wellbeing of poultry at risk and significantly increases the risk of introducing diseases that can completely depopulate your farm in weeks. 

STEP 3: SECURITY

Security is an essential component of correct farming practice. Without visitors and staff being properly informed on the security measures in place, you cannot protect your farm and livestock – encouraging unwanted visitors, vermin and wild birds on the farm. 

STEP 4: RODENT CONTROL

A lack of effective, commercial rodent control can lead to the further introduction of bacteria. Rats, mice and other rodents can host a range of disease-causing germs, including carrying faeces contaminated with AI. They can quickly travel from one premises to the next, continually spreading diseases to flocks nearby, affecting hundreds of thousands of poultry in a short space of time. 

STEP 5: STAFF

Mis-information, a lack of training and transparency amongst staff on the premises can lead to biosecurity becoming completely remiss. As staff come into contact with poultry often, they can easily encourage disease introduction. With the continually changing farming landscape, are your staff informed and prepared? 

STEP 6: BEDDING

Contaminated bedding leads to contaminated poultry. Due to the close proximity of poultry in houses, diseases, viruses and infections can rapidly spread. Introducing germs through bedding can cause bacteria to mutate, infecting poultry with diseases like campylobacter, AI and Salmonella which can have significant impacts on your farm.

STEP 7: EQUIPMENT

Although sometimes unavoidable, it is really important to limit the use of equipment across multiple sheds and sites. Equipment used in different sheds or on alternate sites, can quickly encourage the introduction and spread across an entire or multiple premises. 

STEP 8: REGULATIONS AND LEGISLATION

Set out by Governing bodies, there is a range of legislation and regulations that supports farmers. Using approved disinfectants to support your cleansing and disinfection practices, will help ensure foreign bodies on your premise are not encouraging the further spread of disease. 

Partner with Livetec, experts in biosecurity

The idea of implementing stringent biosecurity protocols can be overwhelming, with the guidelines and requirements set by Governing bodies hard to understand. Livetec are committed to supporting farmers, their teams and animals and act as a supportive partner to your business. We apply years of experience with disease outbreak and scientifically-backed research to create bespoke biosecurity protocols for your business. 

Our bespoke biosecurity strategies coupled with our contingency planning service, means that we ensure everything is tailored to your exact premises, safeguarding your business, mitigating risks and reducing financial loss. 

Download our 8 Steps to a biosecure farm infographic here.

Protect your farm by contacting Livetec today info@livetecsystems.co.uk