Avian Biosecurity – Protect Poultry, Prevent Disease

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

Anyone who has contact with birds though commercial farming, backyard flocks or hobby farms, and/or provides services to poultry producers (e.g. poultry transporters, feed providers, catching crews, etc.), is encouraged to practice enhanced biosecurity procedures.


The National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard and Producer Guide support the development of farm-specific biosecurity protocols for sectors that do not participate in a provincial association or On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) program.

  • National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard
  • General Producer Guide - National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard
  • Basic biosecurity principles for poultry


    • Only obtain new birds from reputable sources.
    • Isolate sick birds from the rest of the flock.
    • Limit the frequency of introducing new birds to the flock.
    • Isolate any new birds or birds returning from shows and exhibits.
    • Use all-in-all-out flock movement where possible.


    • Routinely clean and disinfect buildings, poultry houses, equipment, clothing and footwear.
    • Designate a cleaning area for vehicles and equipment.
    • Promptly dispose of mortalities and damaged eggs.
    • Use plastic crates to transport birds (easier to clean).

    Traffic control:

    • Control visitors' access to the flock.
    • Prevent birds, rodents, pets and other animals from coming into contact with the flock.
    • Require all visitors to wear clean boots, clothing and gloves.
    • Maintain records of the movement of people, animals and equipment on and off the premises.
    • Make sure all suppliers and other farm visitors follow your biosecurity measures.

    Flock health management:

    • Monitor flock health daily.
    • Employ veterinary services to help implement flock health programs.
    • Maintain daily health records on your flock, detailing production levels, health concerns and treatments applied.
    • Immediately report any signs of illness to your veterinarian or the nearest CFIA office.

    Program maintenance:

    • Train all staff in the application of your biosecurity program.
    • Regularly monitor the effectiveness of the program.
    • Be aware of any avian diseases in your area and adjust your biosecurity program to meet specific needs, as required.

Poultry Service Industry

The goal of the Poultry Service Industry Biosecurity Guide is to provide service sector personnel with a set of guidelines to use, both within their own company's biosecurity protocols and in collaboration with the producer, to limit the opportunity for introducing and spreading disease.

Pet bird/backyard flock owners

Pet bird/backyard flock owners are urged to take an active role in protecting their flocks by employing strict biosecurity measures on their property. Backyard flocks are at risk of contracting viruses like avian influenza, in particular if they have access to the outdoors and ponds or bodies of water known to be used by wild birds.

Sources of avian diseases

Disease in poultry and other avian species can be spread in a number of ways, including:

  • through diseased birds or birds carrying disease;
  • through animals other than birds (farm animals, pets, wild birds and other wildlife, vermin and insects);
  • on the clothing and shoes of visitors and employees moving from flock-to-flock;
  • in contaminated feed, water, bedding and litter;
  • from the carcasses of dead birds;
  • on contaminated farm equipment and vehicles;
  • through contact with neighbouring flocks; or
  • in airborne particles and dust blown by the wind.

General biosecurity measures for producers and veterinarians

Industry Notices

Additional information

Date modified: