Very soon following the third case of avian influenza in Norfolk, Livetec were called to a fourth farm in December 2020. Similarly, the H5N8 strain of avian influenza, which was the most prominent strain for the season, had been found present on the premises, which was home to over 12,000 ducks.
Restrictions had already been imposed on-farm by APHA, halting all operations to further stem the spread of AI, including the implementation of a 10km surveillance zone. Working quickly, the Livetec Operations team applied emergency measures, depopulating the premises within three days, which was then followed by a preliminary stage of cleansing and disinfection. In order to satisfy the measures imposed on the premises, the farm does have to undergo a secondary C&D stage.
Following the identification of the cause of disease, it can be concluded that the farm could likely have mitigated the potential of this outbreak, by implementing the correct biosecurity measures and protocols. Supported by Livetec’s technical services, like a bespoke biosecurity strategy, the farm could have avoided the outbreak as well as the need for operational downtime.
The subsequent investigation established that the operations on-farm were not biosecure and not practised as part of the daily processes. Ultimately, the report concluded that the outbreak was indirect contact with wild birds, due to poor biosecurity measures. The lack of measures resulted in a huge impact on both the premises and the staff on site.
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