Canadian Poultry Magazine

The Principles of Biosecurity:

By PIC   

Features Housing Research

Isolation, Traffic Control and Sanitation

Isolation, Traffic Control and Sanitation

The Poultry Industry Council designed the following recommendations to prevent the spread of avian influenza between poultry premises and the introduction of new infections to susceptible birds.


These recommendations are based on the three key principles of biosecurity: isolation, traffic control and sanitation.

In the event of a confirmed AI outbreak, the CFIA will impose isolation, traffic control and sanitation protocols appropriate for your situation. Prior to confirmation of an infection, follow these guidelines.

Your veterinarian can help you incorporate them into a biosecurity plan specific to your operation. For further information on traffic control, visit the CFIA web site at:

http:// and the Poultry Industry Council’s factsheet on movement control at:

This refers to the confinement of animals within a controlled environment that excludes vectors of disease. A barn keeps your birds in, and it also keeps other animals out.

Mechanical transmission of virus by anything that can walk, crawl, or fly from farm to farm should be presumed.

1. Keep a pair of boots in each barn that are worn only in that barn. Every time you enter, put the boots on. Leave them in the barn every time you exit. Clean and disinfect the boots between flocks.

2. Clean out vegetation around poultry barns and pens to remove shelter and food for possible carriers.

3. Institute a vector control program for insect, mammalian, and avian vectors. These vectors are important because they can mechanically carry infected feces from one barn, pen, or premise to another.

4. Improve barriers to prevent the access of wild birds to poultry barns.

5. Institute an insect control program. Flies of several species are important in the transfer of AI virus.

6. Rodents have been implicated in the transfer of AI virus. Rodent control and preventing their traffic between barns on a single premise are essential.

7. Prevent the accumulation of standing water. This is a great attraction to migrating waterfowl and shorebirds, both of which have been implicated in AI outbreaks. All birds can transmit AI virus mechanically, but waterfowl, and shorebirds, including gulls are important because they can bring the virus into a previously uninfected flock and begin an infection that rapidly spreads.

8. Limit sources of food and water for wild birds. Clean up spills when they happen.

9. Educate your employees about the dangers of live bird markets and advise them not to raise their own poultry or other birds such as parrots, budgies, parakeets etc. for any purpose. Also advise them not to visit live bird markets or other poultry premises when they might also have contact with your flock.

10. Avoid dead wild birds. Any found on your premises must be treated as though they are highly infectious. Handle them with gloves, place in a plastic bag, seal it and dispose properly, preferably by incineration. Shower and change your clothes before entering poultry facilities.

 Traffic Control
This includes both the traffic onto your farm, the traffic patterns within the farm and the traffic leaving your farm.

1. The spread of AI follows movement of people and traffic.

2. Be a good neighbour. If you suspect AI, initiate a self-imposed quarantine.

3. Keep logbooks of visitors to your facilities. Visitation logs can provide useful information for tracing a disease outbreak.

4. Keep human farm-to-farm traffic to a minimum. Conduct business by phone when possible.

5. Find out where someone has been before inviting them onto your premises. Inspect visitors for evidence of cleanliness and contact with other birds before they come onto your premises.

6. Make no unnecessary visits to other farms.

7. Do not let truck drivers, repairmen, or delivery personnel step out onto your facility without clean or new protective foot covering and clean coveralls. It is best to provide plastic boots and coveralls for this purpose.
Shoes and clothes are an excellent vehicle for the transmission of the AI virus.

8. If your company has several farms, establish zones to prevent one person from traveling to all farms.

9. Require employees and crews to wear freshly laundered clothing, or clothing supplied at the farm each day. Do not allow persons employed at other poultry operations on your premises.

10. Infected carcasses can be a significant source of AI virus. Dispose of dead birds as soon as possible, preferably by on-site incineration.

This addresses the disinfection of materials, people and equipment entering the farm and the cleanliness of the personnel on the farm. Consult your veterinarian to select the best product for your usage needs.

• Note that organic material greatly increases the resistance of Avian Influenza viruses to disinfection.

The specifics of cleaning and disinfecting any facility will depend on many factors that differ among farms. It is not possible to address each individual concern. However, these are some guidelines that generally address cleaning and disinfection and some facts that should be considered when developing a strategy for barn cleaning and disinfection. In all situations, it is highly recommended that your veterinarian be consulted to help develop and implement any plans.

1. Influenza virus is sensitive to most disinfectants but organic material must be removed before disinfection can be effective.

2. AI virus can also be inactivated by heat, such as that produced during composting. There are examples of heating barns to 90 degrees F or higher to inactivate the virus.

3. Prevent the spread of AI virus on equipment. Make sure that service persons’ vehicles are not contaminated with litter or feces. Wash and disinfect the tires and wheel wells of all vehicles coming onto your premises.

Alternatively, vehicles can be parked outside the farm perimeter. Service people can then don plastic booties and walk on to the farm. Upon leaving, the booties can be tossed in a receptacle provided at the farm exit.

4. Wash and disinfect manure clean-out equipment taken from farm to farm.

5. Enclose all dead birds to be taken to the laboratory in plastic bags. Confine live birds being submitted to the laboratory in boxes that will not return to your farm. Disinfect any vehicles returning from the laboratory including the floor mats. Do not let personnel who have been to the laboratory return to your facility without a shower and a change of clothes.

6. Do not allow vehicles in areas grossly contaminated with manure.

7. Wash and disinfect all egg trays, carts, and racks. Remove all feathers, feces, and egg material.

8. AI virus can be transmitted at egg breaking facilities and poultry processing plants. Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected at these facilities to prevent the spread of virus to producers bringing their eggs or poultry to the plant.

Manure treatment
In the event of a confirmed AI infection, manure handling will be under control of the CFIA. The following section is intended for information purposes only. Consult with your veterinarian before moving infected manure.

1. Composting, when done properly, can raise the temperature of manure to levels that inactivate AI virus. Dead birds can also be included in the compost pile. For more information, see the OMAF factsheet On-farm Composting of Livestock and Poultry Mortalities

2. Burial may be an appropriate disposal method, but is subject to approval by the environmental authorities in your province.

3. Remove all manure from the barn and cover with a tarp. Virus will be inactivated once daily temperatures have consistently risen to 90ºF for one week. After inactivation, the manure can be handled normally.

4. For manure removed more than four months after initial infection, handle normally. Special precautions are not required.

Sources of equipment to use in this and other biosecurity programs
1. Portable high-pressure sprayers can be purchased from hardware stores at a cost of $500 to $1000 or more. These sprayers are useful in washing and disinfecting equipment and poultry barns.

2. Hand-held sprayers can be purchased from hardware stores for $40-to-$90. These items are helpful for spraying disinfectants on the floor mats of cars, disinfecting wheel wells, etc. In addition, the same type of sprayer can be used to distribute insecticides in a vector control program.

3. Disposable coveralls, boots, and caps can be purchased from several places including the FarmersFarmacy website.

4. Other materials important in a biosecurity program including signs, gates, pylons, and other indications of barriers can be purchased for minimal cost.

5. These items are important in preventing unwanted human traffic and are well worth their cost.  

The influenza virus is sensitive to almost any disinfectant. However, it is very difficult to inactivate the virus if it is in organic material, such as feces.

Among the disinfectants that will kill Avian Influenza virus (please note that this list is not meant to be comprehensive, and there are many other products that can inactivate the AI virus – please see your disinfectant supplier):
2. Virkon S®
3. One-Stroke Environ®
4. Formaldehyde
5. Bleach
6. Ammonia
7. Acids
8. Heating to 90ºF for 3 hours, 100ºF for 30 min.
9. Drying
10. Iodine containing solutions
11.Almost any detergent will inactivate AI virus if the contact time is long enough. Consult manufacturer’s recommendations.

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