Poultry farmers around the country have been attending a series of avian influenza workshops, organised by the Poultry Health and Welfare Group.
Here are some of the top tips from two of the speakers at the East Anglia meeting on 9 November.
Andrew Joret’s “Model Farm”
- Location. Avoid open water or net it off. Site new poultry sheds at least 1km away from a neighbouring unit
- Perimeter fence. This defines the biosecure area and should have a single point of entry to control all movements. Automatic spray systems should disinfect vehicles coming on site
- Movement controls. Visitors should be kept to a minimum and made to park outside the fence. Is it possible for feed lorries to discharge without coming in, and could dead birds be collected this way?
- Buildings. Must be vermin proof. Must have a cleanable, concrete apron. Rain water should be collected from roofs and taken away with dirty water following wash down
- Outdoor production. Buildings used in free-range systems should be as biosecure as those used for indoor production
- Farm size. Some farms can be too big to guarantee optimum biosecurity
(Andrew Joret is chairman of the British Egg Industry Council)
Andrew Ballantyne’s seven top tips
- Wild birds must not be encouraged to stop off on your farm – “lose those small ponds”
- Know your poultry-farming neighbours – and do not fraternise too often
- Don’t share equipment. £30,000 for a dedicated straw loader may seem a lot, but it’s nothing compared with £1m for secondary cleansing and disinfection
- Don’t share staff – confine them to a designated work area
- Keep vehicles clean. Pay your staff £5 a week to put their cars through a car wash
- Carcass storage – as far away from the poultry sheds as possible, and lockable
- Avoid complacency and promote a culture of biosecurity
(Andrew Ballantyne is commercial farms manager for Gressingham Foods)