Lapses in biosecurity: Veterinarian urges poultry companies to avoid these mistakes

by 5m Editor
22 September 2017, at 12:00am

Biosecurity needs to be approached as a comprehensive process, not as a series of segregated actions, according to Jean Sander, DVM, senior technical services veterinarian for Zoetis.

For example, people about to enter a poultry house will put on their boots, coveralls, hair nets, but then remember they need a piece of equipment that’s in another house. They quickly retrieve it and bring it into another building without cleaning it first.

That’s a breach of biosecurity, Sander told Poultry Health Today.

The intent is to try and do the right thing, but too often biosecurity isn’t viewed holistically, continued the veterinarian, who primarily works with layer producers.

Sander cited another worrisome example. She is aware of poultry company employees going from one grower’s farm to another in the same street clothes and shoes. This sets a bad example. Growers might figure they don’t need to change when they leave the farm to visit the local coffee shop or friends’ farms where there are chickens.

It’s important for poultry producers to be aware of the potential for contamination by carrying organisms from one house or farm to another. What are the fomites that organisms can be carried in on? Cleaning equipment used on poultry farms is essential even though it’s often an onerous task, Sander said.

During the avian influenza outbreak of 2015, there was heightened awareness on poultry farms. As time has passed, however, there hasn’t been the same degree of urgency and people get lax, she said.
It’s important for everyone on the farm to understand that a high level of biosecurity must be maintained to avoid the devastating situation of two years ago, Sander said.