Three key considerations for navigating avian influenza

Proven ways to mitigate the risk of an outbreak.

Being prepared for diseases like highly pathogenic avian influenza should always be a priority. When news of an outbreak strikes, it’s important to remember that there are proven ways to mitigate risk in your complex. In addition to standard biosecurity measures, here are three key considerations complex managers should keep top of mind when preparing for or navigating an avian influenza outbreak.

1. Biosecurity.

Biosecurity is both a top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top strategy—everyone entering the complex plays a key role in the effectiveness of biosecurity protocols. Therefore, it’s critical that each person has a thorough understanding of biosecurity plans and is aware of the risk factors for HPAI. Ensuring good biosecurity practices are a part of your standard operations means that during periods of heightened risk, your entire team is already well-versed in procedures and expectations.

2. Risk assessment status.

When the presence of HPAI is first confirmed in wild birds, the biosecurity approach and mindset must change. Each facility has its own unique risk factors which vary greatly from location to location. Biosecurity measures should be customized accordingly. Considering factors such as seasonality, proximity to migration routes or bodies of water, and distance of neighboring commercial or backyard flocks helps determine your own risk level. Identifying vulnerable points in your system before avian influenza is present allows you to make the appropriate changes to mitigate risk.

3. Protocols.

The industry has come a long way in combatting HPAI. In just ten years, there’s been immense strides in tools and knowledge that today allow us to be prepared for outbreaks and act quickly. Biosecurity is the best tool to address HPAI outbreaks—no other tool available is as comprehensively effective when utilized correctly. When protocols are strictly followed, outbreaks can be prevented or contained quickly.

Refining biosecurity procedures across your team, understanding and optimizing for your facility’s unique risks, and adhering to trusted best practices can all help mitigate the risk of avian influenza.

To learn more about mitigating the risk of avian influenza, be sure to listen to Dr. Ahmad’s recent episode of Food Chain Chats or contact your ARM & HAMMER representative today.

Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production

Dr. Mueez Ahmad

Poultry Technical Services Manager at Arm & Hammer
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