The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released a “Checklist for Self-Assessment of Enhanced Poultry Biosecurity” and related training materials as part of ongoing preparation efforts for the possible return of highly pathogenic avian influenza infections.

These documents will assist the poultry industry in implementing effective biosecurity practices. APHIS collaborated with state, academic and industry experts to develop the checklist and training materials.

The checklist, which is posted on the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association website, asks producers to identify what type of poultry operation they have, the size of the farm and the state where the operation is located. It also asks producers to evaluate the status of biosecurity practices at their farms – whether completed, not in place or in progress – in areas including having a biosecurity officer, the training of employees, lines of separation for each building, perimeter buffer areas, personnel training, protection from wild birds, regular sanitation of equipment and minimal sharing of equipment, dead bird disposal, manure and litter management, obtaining replacement poultry from documented sources, evaluation of water supplies, and storage of feed and replacement littler in areas that reduce the risk of avian influenza infections.

APHIS urges producers to develop a site-specific plan to implement enhanced operational biosecurity as soon as feasible, preferably before October 2015.