"Defend the flock" USDA campaign for poultry health protection

USA - The “Defend the Flock” campaign to promote biosecurity combines and updates two previous campaigns that were each targeted at a specific segment of the poultry population.
calendar icon 22 February 2019
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The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has launched a new outreach campaign focused on preventing the spread of infectious poultry diseases in both commercial and backyard poultry. Considering the devastating impact of the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in 2014-2015, as well as the recent outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease, the timing is right for everyone in the poultry community to work together to protect the health of our nation’s flocks.

The “Defend the Flock” campaign to promote biosecurity combines and updates two previous campaigns that were each targeted at a specific segment of the poultry population.

“While each of the previous campaigns were successful, by combining them and emphasising shared responsibility, USDA will improve its ability to promote biosecurity and protect avian health across the country,” said Dr. Jack Shere, USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer and a poultry veterinarian himself.

Having experienced several poultry health issues over the last couple of years, the poultry community knows how important biosecurity is to protecting the nation’s flocks.

The PDF checklist gives farmers tips to help keep their flocks healthy

“We’ve seen great strides in biosecurity since 2015, but biosecurity is an every day, every time effort,” said Dr. Shere. “To sustain good practices takes awareness, training and reminders – which this campaign is poised to do. Let’s all work together to defend our nation’s flocks.”

USDA launched a new web page for the campaign where anyone can find important information about protecting their flocks from disease. The site also has a resource section, including a series of checklists each covering specific biosecurity principles. Producers, growers, workers and enthusiasts alike can use these as regular reminders or cues for maintaining a high level of biosecurity.

These resources will be available in both English and Spanish at the launch, with additional languages coming in the next year.

For more information please contact Donna Karlsons or Joelle Hayden.

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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