Protecting Your Flock From Influenza – Have You Got It Right?
Good biosecurity can help keep disease such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) out of Canadian poultry flocks. Do you know if your biosecurity plan is used correctly? Here are some things to consider:
1) Is your biosecurity plan the best it can be?
Review your plan once a year with staff or as needed (i.e. when new employees start, there is a higher risk of disease, change in protocols etc.).
Your review should:
- assess the risks;
- find gaps in biosecurity;
- review current risk reduction measures;
- identify how new risks can be reduced; and
- train staff on existing (where needed) and new measures.
2) Are you following your plan?
Monitor your practices. Are biosecurity measures done right? Are they being done consistently?
Consider the following to strengthen biosecurity:
- Ensure you and your staff practice biosecurity consistently and correctly.
- Assess how biosecurity is being practiced on your property and adjust/correct when needed. An assessment can be done all at once, or in manageable pieces. Ensure that management and staff are involved with the assessment. Improve the likelihood that biosecurity issues are not overlooked by assigning different staff to complete the assessment every time.
- Promote constructive and open communication about biosecurity. Encourage staff to talk to you about biosecurity concerns and report issues. It's better to resolve biosecurity issues than to lose birds to disease.
- Encourage staff to develop solutions to address biosecurity issues.
- Ensure staff have the time, resources and supplies needed to put biosecurity practices into place.
3) Are you a leader in biosecurity?
Providing leadership and support to your staff is important. It is also important that you set an example by practicing biosecurity on your property and adjusting your practices as needed to keep your flock healthy. If you suspect your birds may be sick, contact your veterinarian.
If you find a dead wild bird on or around your property, you are encouraged to contact the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) at 1-866-544-4744 or visit the CWHC website. The CWHC, in partnership with the CFIA and other government organizations, tracks the presence and spread of avian influenza.
Your veterinarian, producer association and provincial board are a good source of biosecurity information. Additional information can be accessed at:
- How to Prevent and Detect Disease in Backyard Flocks and Pet Birds
- Strengthen On-Farm Biosecurity During Wild Bird Migration
- Avian Biosecurity – Protect Poultry, Prevent Disease
- Poultry Service Industry Biosecurity Guide
You can use the following biosecurity assessment tools and checklists when reviewing your program:
- National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard - Animals - Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Animal Husbandry: Checklist for Self-Assessment of Enhanced Poultry Biosecurity: uspoultry.org
- Protect My Flock
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