Making biosecurity a priority on poultry farms is essential for protecting animal health, wellbeing, business productivity, and profitability.
Biosecurity measures are taken to protect livestock and farm businesses from deadly pathogens. A biosecurity plan should encompass an extensive range of measures that are designed to enhance disease prevention, such as access control, movements of people, vehicles and materials, biosecurity protocols when entering a farm site, sanitation, pest control and isolation.
It is important to remember that biosecurity measures are only effective if they are implemented correctly and regularly monitored for compliance. Regular reviews of biosecurity plans and protocols will help ensure that the measures put in place remain effective.
What you should include in your biosecurity plan
When developing a biosecurity plan, there are many routine components you should consider. Ensuring these are in place goes a long way to mitigating the risk of disease on your premises. These include:
- Ensuring that farm workers wear clean clothes and boots
- Workers having access to facilities to shower, or change from their work clothes so they can be cleaned
- Using hand sanitizer upon entry and exit to any house, barn or shed
- Employees not having any contact with any birds outside of the farm, and if they do, it needs to be effectively communicated
- Discouraging non-essential farm visits
- Ensuring visitors to the farm are clear of the biosecurity protocols in place before a visit to the premises
- Keeping record of all visitors to the farm, from animal health professionals to suppliers should with time, date and reason for visit
- Where possible, ensuring any visitors leaving their vehicle outside the farms perimeter
- Not allowing any pets and wild birds on the premises
- Vehicles entering the premises making sure that as much outside debris as possible, is removed from tyres and then disinfected
- Applying disinfectant to the inside of the vehicle
- Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting machinery that is brought onto the farm
- Maintaining one entry and exit to the premise
- Placing disinfectant foot dips at the entry points to buildings housing animals
- Maintaining the farm and its buildings and working areas, with special attention made to any potential access points for wild birds or rodents
- Cleaning and disinfecting being a regular procedure, and even more so when in a area with recorded outbreaks of disease
- When rotating stock the house or shed, equipment, ventilation, feed and water dispensers should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
- Quarantining new livestock to the farm before being introduced to another flock
These are just some of the considerations that should be implemented on a day-to-day level. However, a comprehensive biosecurity plan looks at a premise from a strategic, legislative and compliance perspective. Expert advice is needed to develop a robust plan, which looks at:
- Premises mapping and site auditing
- New-build structural biosecurity
- Disease outbreak exercises
- Assurance scheme pre-audit biosecurity checks
- Company policies and declarations
- Contingency plans
- Biosecurity plans
- Infected premises response plans
- National outbreak plans
- Cleansing and disinfection plans
How Livetec can help you develop your biosecurity plan
Livetec have been advising and developing biosecurity and contingency plans for UK poultry farmers. Our biosecurity advisory services provide scientifically researched solutions to greatly reduce the risk of a disease outbreak on your farm.
Find out more and contact us here.
Livetec’s Farm Health Guardian
Livetec has another solution in the fight against bird flu. Farm Health Guardian (FHG) is a biosecurity management system that records the movement of trucks and people on and off farm properties for rapid contact tracing in the event of a disease outbreak, digitally creates logbooks, and has many other automated features designed to enhance disease prevention.
To find out more and get a demonstration contact the Livetec team here.