In 2007, Dr. David Shapiro of Perdue Farms offered do’s and don’ts of biosecurity to help keep poultry farms safer and guard against threats. His tips, still relevant today, were:
- Never visit or associate with the live bird market system.
- Never keep fowl, wild, exotic or domestic birds.
- Never allow anyone close to your chicken houses without knowing where they have been previously.
- Never allow equipment in your poultry houses – when live poultry is present – that has been to other farms, unless it is picking up all of your poultry or you have seen it and inspected it for proper cleaning and disinfecting.
- Never allow an animal to carry or scavenge dead birds from your dead bird disposal area.
- Never use common dead bird disposal area for multiple farm operation or multiple farm pickups of dead birds.
- Only allow authorized visitors on your farm.
- Authorized visitors must comply with dress policy and sign visitor log.
- Growers and any other farm employees must have farm-dedicated shoes and clothes, or boots coveralls and hairnets.
- Producers must have a state and company approved dead bird disposal method, which is properly managed. Shapiro prefers on-farm disposal of dead birds.
- All non-farm-dedicated equipment should be cleaned and disinfected prior to entering the poultry house when birds are present.
Biosecurity also was stressed during a recent WATT Global Media webinar. Dr. James Roth, director, Center for Food Security and Public Health, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, took Shapiro’s steps a little further. He said a biosecurity plan should have a biosecurity officer, there should be a line of separation for each building, and the farm should have a perimeter buffer area.
All threats to your flock cannot be eliminated, but reasonable steps can be taken to reduce risk.