In recent years, not one year has passed without outbreaks of bird flu in Europe. An outbreak, anywhere in Europe, sets everything on the spot, transports are being tightened up in the form of cleaning and disinfection, borders are being closed, loft duties are being imposed and everyone is aware that “we” have to pay attention. Prevention of introduction is a top priority, perfectly implemented biosecurity measures are not practical enough!

Limited premium, lower risks

Perfect biosecurity primarily means a significant reduction in the chances of cross-contamination. While a 100% guarantee is unachievable, one can certainly approach that number. The premium for biosecurity is limited, which means that the costs associated with obtaining an excellent level of biosecurity are quite low. After all, most work is done by the poultry farmer himself. This means, for instance, adhering to the protocols and walking routes he created himself, and how to handle inbound materials or persons on the terrain. Ensuring low risks against a limited premium is absolutely possible, but adhering to protocols and internalising them does require discipline.

The intake

Implementing biosecurity often means that many things are prohibited within the company premises, or so it seems. Most farmers have a few blind spots in this regard, in which they are so used to the daily flow of operations that they don’t longer register specific hazards. So, before creating a tailored plan for the specific farm, it is important that an external specialist  visits and screens the company. This creates a baseline measurement, which registers aspects that are currently in check, as well as identified improvement areas. The sum of these individual aspects form a solid point of departure for developing a protocol.

The protocol divided in two phases

First, we look at practical, physical matters required to make the protocol both practical and perfect. This often includes installing a hygiene lock, step-over benches, a disinfection gate and more.

Then comes the human aspect. Poultry farmers, staff members, visitors, suppliers and others must have a clear work instruction that explains how to behave at the specific company. This varies from how to apply vehicle hygiene, to disinfecting the hands before entering the stable. A clear work instruction leads to better results and an improvement in practical adherence as people are less likely to deviate from the process.

The final result is a complete biosecurity protocol, the various elements of which are subdivided into different risk areas.

Do you want to learn more about these risk areas or obtaining a protocol tailored to your practical environment?

Hygiene specialist

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