The aim of biosecurity
Biosecurity is quite simply a management tool – but an essential one -used to prevent pathogens or disease organisms from coming in to contact with the flock in the first place. Pathogens, viruses and bacteria are unwelcome in any poultry house. If birds are strong and healthy without showing any signs of illness, they could be spending energy fighting the disease – energy that should rather be used to grow meat or produce eggs.
There has been much talk about vaccinations against AI, but most experts agree that vaccination only works in conjunction with a good biosecurity practice. Don’t make the mistake that once vaccinated against disease, biosecurity measures can be relaxed.
Common sense biosecurity measures
- Restrict access to property to prevent unauthorized entry. Post signs and only allow approved visitors entry. Have an area for visitors to change clothes and footwear, disposable or farm-maintained with shower-in / shower-out facilities.
- Follow biosecurity practices for cleanliness. Wear clean clothes, scrub boots and shoes thoroughly with disinfectant and wash hands. All equipment, machinery and vehicles must be cleaned before entering the property.
- Keep out disease. If anyone has visited other poultry farms, clean and disinfect the vehicle, tyres and any equipment before returning. Don’t share equipment, tools or other supplies with other poultry owners.
- Be on the lookout for unusual signs or behaviour, severe illness and/or sudden death. Asses the health of the flock daily – early detection is important to prevent the spread of disease.
Good biosecurity is a relatively cheap practice to implement and maintain. However, if guard is dropped and disease gets a foot in the door, the costs can escalate beyond the point of possible recovery for the poultry farmer and the national industry.