In keeping with a commitment to rigorous biosecurity to ensure the health and welfare of its birds, Aviagen has built a leading-edge quarantine farm in New South Wales, Australia. The investment totaled AU$20 million (US$13.9 million).
The new 3,500-square-meter farm is known as the Wagga Wagga Import Quarantine Facility. Animal health and import regulations in Australia and New Zealand are among the toughest in the world, and Wagga Wagga is the only poultry quarantine facility within Australia that fully complies with government requirements. It will hold approximately 12,000 great grandparent (GGP) birds, with a fresh import arriving every 20 weeks.
The official grand opening took place on March 27, officiated by Greg Conkey, Wagga Wagga’s mayor and the State Member of Parliament Dr. Joe McGirr. Also present were Aviagen employees and customers, the building contractor, media representatives, and members of the surrounding community who had observed the construction during the prior 18 months. During the event, tours were led by Operations Manager, Wayne Miller, who managed this intense construction project, and Farm Manager Roy Sutherland.
Wagga Wagga received its first import of eggs May 17 and begins operation in June. With a presence in Australia for 30 years, Aviagen currently supplies all major poultry producers with broiler breeding stock, and is committed to their success. This new operation will help these customers reap the advantages in performance, feed efficiency, health and welfare offered by Ross birds.
Promoting the highest health standards
The Wagga Wagga quarantine facility follows the strictest biosecurity, receiving quality imported eggs and then incubating them, hatching them and growing them to approximately 10 weeks of age. The chickens are tested by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) to confirm that they are healthy and disease free, before they are transferred to Aviagen breeder farms. The farm is then disinfected and prepared for the next quarantine cycle.
Wagga Wagga is constructed with state-of-the-art features to ensure the greatest level of biosecurity available today. It is a fully-sealed, climate-controlled and High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)-filtered structure cocooned in a protective outer building.
“Aviagen’s vision is to help feed the world’s communities with a high-quality source of protein. The new innovative quarantine facility will allow us to continue to import our high-generation breeding stock into Australia, and thus pass on the high value of our birds to customers for years to come,” explained Mr. Miller.