Farm biosecurity important for defending the flock

Canadian Poultry Magazine
February 08, 2018
By Canadian Poultry Magazine
Farm biosecurity important for defending the flock
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
“There are some diseases that we can live with, but not Avian Influenza. It is a great danger for our livelihoods and our industries,” said Dr. Travis Schaal, GGP/GP and technical manager for Hy-Line International, during the Defend the Flock: Biosecurity Basics for Poultry & Egg Producers program, held at the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo.

Schaal discussed his company’s view on biosecurity, which encompasses four areas: conceptual, structural, operational and cultural. He emphasized the National Poultry Improvement Plan’s 14 points to enforce biosecurity and expressed the importance of farmers committing to these robust standards.

He summarized by stating that culture takes time and repetition; rules must be complied top down in order to have bottom up involvement; rules must be practical and effective, not complicated; and to educate at every opportunity.

Dr. Ben Wileman, director of global technical services for Select Genetics, observed that a big challenge for turkey biosecurity involved people travelling globally on vacations, mission trips or family visits. He remarked that these trips may have an impact on farm animals because pathogens are carried from one place to another.

Wileman posed the question, “How do you balance independence with not negatively affecting billions of dollars of trade?” He answered by stating that you need to balance trade with national biosecurity through veterinary inspections, CODEX, OIE and USDA AMS, among other organizations.

“Human nature is to take easy routes, which is why biosecurity needs to be fairly simple for people to do,” Wileman remarked. He pointed out that turkeys live longer than breeders and therefore have more risk, especially during their peak growth. Wileman highlighted 14 biosecurity points that every farm should take into consideration, including biosecurity responsibility, training, perimeter buffer areas, and auditing, among others.

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