Poultry breeding and genetics company Aviagen has attained compartment status for all its facilities, securing their ability to continue to export if avian diseases break out in the UK.

Great grandparent, grandparent and pedigree breeding facilities, as well as the egg depot and hatcheries, have now been independently audited and accredited by DEFRA. “This is another significant milestone in the journey towards global acceptance of the compartment concept,” Bill Stanley, Aviagen’s veterinary health director for Europe said.

Last year Poultry World reported exclusively on Aviagen achieving compartmentalisation status for its pedigree breeding facilities which at the time made it the first company in the world to be accredited.

“Security of supply has become a major issue for the poultry industry, and maintaining global trade links in the face of a disease outbreak is a huge challenge for the sector. Gaining compartment status acknowledges our high biosecurity standards and provides a mechanism for uninterrupted trade.”

Created by the World Organisation for Animal Health, compartmentalisation is designed to ensure security of supply to customers during a disease outbreak.

Independent experts assess the biosecurity level of farms and hatcheries, and facilities with the most stringent processes in place are certified as disease-free and allowed to continue exporting live birds, even if a disease is detected elsewhere in the country.

Compartmenalisation is relient on other nations accepting the accreditation to continue imports during a disease outbreak, so now Aviagen says it will lobby other nations to accept the standards developed in the UK as a global standard.