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Best practices in breeder house: Biosecurity

What is biosecurity and why is it necessary?

Biosecurity is a set of practices put in place for poultry houses as an essential practice that ensures prevention of diseases which can enter the farm through exposure to the external environment. Disease agents can be transferred from different sheds on the same farm and also from the respective breeding flocks to their offspring. Since there exists an inherent risk of disease transmission for large breeding flocks reared in big farms for commercial purposes it is important to make sure that the root of disease transmission is cut off, regulated and constantly monitored.

One of the many reasons that give rise to the spread of infectious diseases on the poultry farm are contaminated equipment, or exposure to contaminated clothing/footwear brought in by human beings. This is mainly why there is limited restriction into the poultry farm. Rodents and other infected animals are also a fast and dangerous source of disease that can infect the whole flock easily which is why pest control programs for rodents and other pests must be incorporated from the beginning. Bird transporting equipment like trucks, tractors and other farm equipment also have high chances of carrying harmful viruses and bacteria. Because microbes have been found on human clothes/hair/skin in the past, many hatcheries and farms enforce shower in and shower out protocols to control the risk of spreading diseases. Another, but less risky form of transmission is through the air.

Aviagen’s biosecurity programs are targeted toward preventing the introduction and spread of disease causing agents, meeting and/or exceeding all the official regulations for the trade of poultry breeding stock, and minimizing disruptions to the supply of breeding stock to our customers. The biosecurity measures taken by Aviagen to minimise the entry of pathogens into the poultry farm are:

  • Investments in infrastructure are designed to ensure biosecurity is in place.
  • A comprehensive flock health program is used to monitor the flocks.
  • Education and training is given to company employees and all contract personnel involved in live production so as to ensure that the company policies and biosecurity measures align.
  • Close supervision is ensured by dedicated and specialized poultry veterinarians and microbiologists.
  • Aviagen’s ongoing investment program ensures that its more than 260 production facilities located around the world are built to the highest biosecurity standards and incorporate the latest equipment and systems technology.
  • Aviagen’s state-of-the-art feed processing facilities and veterinary laboratories ensure comprehensive monitoring of health status and control the risk of infection from disease.

In addition to the measures taken by Aviagen, a few general precautions that can help avoid the spread of diseases on the poultry farm are:

  1. Keeping visitors to a minimum- since the most common source of infection is microbes found on humans, it would be advisable to have a minimum number of visitors. The lesser the interaction, the lesser the chances of risk.
  2. Limit Visitations to Other Poultry Farms- showering and changing clothes before arriving and washing any vehicle before entering a farm
  3. Keep All Animals Out of Poultry Houses
  4. Practice Sound Rodent and Pest Control Programs
  5. Avoid Contact with Non-Commercial Poultry or Wild Birds
  6. Inspect Flocks Daily
  7. Maximize the Environment
  8. Keep Areas Around Houses and Feed Bins Clean

In addition to adopting necessary biosecurity measures and programs it is important to monitor whether the practices are effective and if changes need to be made.

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