As we continue to see the worst case of avian influenza (AI) ever spread across the UK, it has become increasingly important that anyone that owns birds, from commercial poultry farms to backyard owners follows strict biosecurity measures.
Throughout the continual sweep of AI across the UK, a wide range of animal facilities, including sanctuaries run by charities have been affected by the disease.
Avian influenza has, and continues to cause widespread devastation to bird owners not only across the UK, but Europe as well, causing operational downtime, personal distress and financial losses.
According to epidemiology reports, as well as on-farm experience from our expert team, a lack of biosecurity measures has often been the cause of the disease spreading across the farm. The highly pathogenic disease, amongst others, has enhanced the messaging behind the importance of biosecurity, as it is any bird owner’s best line of protection against disease incursion.
How to reduce the risk of an outbreak with biosecurity
Biosecurity encompasses a range of measures designed to prevent the introduction of disease to animals.
There are a number of ways in which biosecurity concerns can be reduced at animal facilities, whether they be a farm, sanctuary or a backyard flock.
The most effective way to reduce concerns is by having a comprehensive biosecurity plan in place that outlines all of the measures that must be followed in order to prevent the introduction of any pathogens to animal facilities.
With a biosecurity plan in place, you create universally agreed principles that all who work on, or contribute to, the running of a farm business should be aware of. A key factor in ensuring that these concerns are reduced is education. Educating those on and off of your premises on the importance of the biosecurity measures you have in place will largely help in the implementation and effectiveness of your plan.
You can also reduce concerns that you have by knowing what animals are moving around your premises and where they came from. Special attention should be taken when introducing new stock onto your farm and a period of quarantine should be rigorously enforced, along with a range of cleaning and disinfection measures.
Avoiding contact with neighbouring farms’ livestock is equally important. You must make sure that when sharing equipment, farm machinery and vehicles, thorough cleaning and disinfection takes place before access to your farm is allowed. Having strict control and keeping exact records of visitors and suppliers to your premise and their pets and vehicles is absolutely critical to reducing biosecurity concerns.
To reduce concerns further, you should also be aware of the zones in place locally, if there are any. If you find yourself in a zone, you should follow much stricter biosecurity measures as a disease has been found locally, meaning wild birds and vermin could likely introduce pathogens to your farm.
Lastly, following the latest government guidance, regulations and advice will reduce concerns as the measures they put in place are informed by chief veterinarians and scientists who strictly follow the spread of disease outbreaks across the country.
Livetec are your biosecurity partner
For over a decade, Livetec have been involved in notifiable and non-notifiable disease outbreaks across the UK. We are experts in providing unique biosecurity advisory services and plans, tailored to different facilities that reduce the risks of disease incursion.
Our plans are designed to make bird owners compliant, whilst enforcing the highest level of protection possible. We have used our years of scientifically backed knowledge and research to produce biosecurity plans that run alongside your operation, mitigating risks, reducing operational downtime and stress as well as preventing a financial loss should an outbreak occur.
Contact the Livetec team to find out more.