In preparation for the possible re-emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the United States in the fall as wild birds begin to migrate south from Canada, the National Chicken Council (NCC) has identified the top biosecurity principles for broiler and broiler-breeder producers.
Biosecurity is the poultry industry's first line of defense to all avian diseases, including HPAI. The following biosecurity measures have been identified by NCC, members of the NCC biosecurity working group, veterinarians and avian health experts as the most important to prevent disease spread and promote flock health:
- Limiting visitors on the farm and minimizing foot traffic;
- Avoiding contact with wild and domestic fowl;
- Avoiding the sharing of farm equipment;
- Having a clean and functioning footbath at each entrance to the broiler house;
- Ensuring that all visitors or personnel have disinfected or new footwear before entering a house or facility;
- Making sure feed and water sources are covered and free of contaminants, limiting the attraction of wild fowl and pests;
- Having official signage clearly stating the farm is a biosecure zone and any unauthorized entry is strictly prohibited;
- Employing effective pest and wild bird management practices; and
- Adequately training farmers, farm and company personal in biosecurity and disease prevention.
"Rigorous implementation of biosecurity principles will be essential to preventing disease introduction onto broiler chicken operations," said NCC President Mike Brown. "I know each industry has been preparing similarly. By maintaining this strong collaboration and sharing of lessons learned, I am confident we will all be in a much better place this year."
These practices are intended to be applicable to a wide variety of production settings, and to serve as a list of recommendations to farmers and associated personnel.