The global problem with the arrival of avian inflenza and Aspergillus should once again underscore the importance of biosecurity to keep infectious diseases out of your poultry houses and hatcheries, and prevent any intruders from spreading to other houses, sites and farms.
The essential principles for designing and implementing a biosecurity protocol
- The responsibility lies with the farmer. Customers, suppliers or even staff cannot take responsibility for the biosecurity measures and ‘pathogen lock-out’ on the farm. A good plan that covers all risk angles for each house and site needs to be designed by someone who really knows what they are doing, and the farmer needs to make sure this plan is known, understood and implemented by every person who ever sets foot on his farm.
- Training, training and reminding. Make sure everybody knows how the plan works and understands why they need to do what they do. Have staff hold each other accountable for the implementation of the plan, and refresh the training frequently.
- Clear lines of separation. The further you can keep a disease from your flock, the better they are protected. The fewere people come close or into the house, the better you are managing your risk. Access is on a purely ‘need-to-go’ basis, and access points are at a minimum and strictly controlled.
- Create a buffer zone. A sort of ‘dead zone’ between your poultry site and other parts of the farm that are not poultry related or between neighbours. Keep areas immediately surrounding the houses and sites as unappealing and unwelcoming to all creatures e.g. birds, mice, snakes.
- Tools and equipment. Use good quality biocides and disinfectants and use them at the correct solution strengths. Equip staff and visitors with the right personal protective gear at all times. Make sure equipment is cleaned and disinfected after use.
- Vehicles and equipment. Vehicles, tools and any other equipment that comes and goes on the farm is cleaned and disinfected before entry and upon leaving, or it should stay away.
- Get rid of dead birds daily. Any mortalities should be removed and properly disposed of immediately when discovered. Manchem’s multi-purpose digester – M-Bac – is an ideal product to use for this.
- Manure and litter management should be cleaned out and removed in such a way that any pathogens hiding in it are rendered powerless to infect flocks.
- New birds and bedding. Source chicks, bedding and feed from reputable suppliers that can be trusted to deliver ‘clean’, uncontaminated inputs, and make sure to place them into a clean, properly disnfected house.
- Water sources and line. Use clean, good quality water from a reliable source. Water treatment is essential to ensure a pathogen free supply. Clean and disinfect drinking lines and any other equipment that uses or stores water frequently and properly. Manchem’s clinging gel degreaser – GLD-13 – provides 100% surface contact for feeder and water lines.
- Keep your eyes open. Make sure the biosecurity protocols are implemented in practice and do spot checks regularly. Be aware of what is going on in every part of the poultry house to be able to identify a problem as soon as it occurs and deal with it immediately and properly.
- Review, rework, retrain and remind. A biosecurity protocol is not a static entity. It needs to be checked and tweaked regularly to make sure it is still relevant and effective. And all changes and improvements should be communicated with staff and visitors – every time.
Source: Poultry Focus Africa