What is cleansing and disinfection?
Should you suffer a disease outbreak you are legally required to undertake a series of cleansing and disinfection (C&D).
Apart from controlling the outbreak of disease, the objective is to restore the country’s freedom from notifiable diseases and regain the ability to export poultry and poultry products. According to the OIE rules, the Government can declare the country’s freedom from a notifiable disease, such as avian influenza, typically three months after the completion of cleansing and disinfection of the affected farm to OIE standards, or after keeping the farm closed under full restriction for 12 months, provided no other outbreaks have occurred.
When avian influenza is confirmed at a premises, following the completion of culling and disposal, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will carry out preliminary cleansing and disinfection at the premises. The costs for culling, disposal and the preliminary cleansing and disinfection are paid by the government.
In the following stage, farmers are legally obligated to carry out secondary cleansing and disinfection to meet the standards set by national legislation, which comply with the EU Directive or OIE regulations. The three options available all have different implications.
Not only is full cleansing and disinfection a mandatory step for farmers who want to restock their poultry, but it also initiates the countdown for the resumption of international trade in poultry and poultry products. The occupier of the premises impacted by the outbreaks is responsible for the secondary cleansing and disinfection process and its cost.
There are three cleansing and disinfection options currently available to a farmer:
- Option 1: Cleanse and disinfect the farm to the standard based on the National Legislation which is currently aligned to the EU Directive.
- Option 2: Cleanse and disinfect to the standard based on OIE rules.
- Option 3: Do not undertake cleaning and disinfection and keep the farm closed and under restrictions for 12 months.
And previously there were three crucial implications for each of the options:
- Option 1 will allow you to go straight on to begin the process of restocking.
- Option 2 would prevent you from restocking with poultry or any other susceptible species (for example pigs) for 12 months.
- Option 3 will prevent you restocking with livestock or using the sheds for any other purpose for 12 months, nothing may enter the restricted part of the premises.
What are the policy changes to option 2?
Previously, Option 2 allowed keepers to restock only after restrictions were lifted, which took place 12 months after preliminary cleansing and disinfection.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) recent amendment enables Avian Influenza Infected Premises (IPs) that select Option 2 for their secondary cleansing and disinfection, to restock their facilities 3 months and 21 days after an APHA veterinary officer signs off the secondary C&D as complete.
How Livetec can help
Drawing on our on-farm expertise, ability to simplify technical language and navigating regulatory constraints, we create plans for secondary cleansing and disinfection, which are often quickly approved by APHA and take a significant amount of stress away from the bird keeper.
Our secondary cleansing and disinfection plans have been used by a large number of diverse agricultural businesses, from farms to bird rescue centres.