Tool to Measure Biosecurity at Broiler Farms and Relationship with Performance and Antimicrobial Use14 November 2014
Research from Belgium using an online questionnaire to assess biosecurity on poultry farms reveals that while the theory is well understood, there is room for improvement in practice.
The Biocheck.UGent scoring system has been developed to measure and quantify the level of biosecurity on broiler farms, explain Philippe Gelaude and colleagues of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University in Belgium.
In a paper in the current issue of Poultry Science, they explain that the tool is composed of all relevant components of biosecurity on broiler farms and is subdivided into external (purchase of day-old chicks, off-farm movements of live animals, feed and water supply, removal of manure and dead birds, entrance of visitors and personnel, supply of materials, infrastructure and biological vectors, location of the farm) and internal (disease management, cleaning and disinfection, materials, and measures between compartments) biosecurity.
The unique feature of this scoring system is that it takes the relative importance of the different biosecurity aspects into account, resulting in a risk-based weighted score.
The Biocheck.UGent scoring system and accompanying questionnaire can be filled in for free at www.Biocheck.UGent.be.
The obtained biosecurity scores are provided immediately after completion of the questionnaire, and the scores for each subcategory can be compared with national averages to allow the farmer to benchmark the obtained results to his colleagues.
Preliminary results (n=15) show a huge range in the biosecurity level on broilers farms in Belgium, with internal biosecurity scores ranging from 54/100 to 87/100 and external biosecurity scores ranging from 55/100 to 72/100.
Gelaude and co-authors conclude their first results show that despite the well-known importance of biosecurity, there is a lack of implementation of many biosecurity measures and room for improvement.
Gelaude P., M. Schlepers, M. Verlinden, M. Laanen and J. Dewulf. 2014. Biocheck.UGent: A quantitative tool to measure biosecurity at broiler farms and the relationship with technical performances and antimicrobial use. Poultry Science. 93 (11): 2740-2751. doi: 10.3382/ps.2014-04002
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