Avian Influenza – Biosecurity
Biosecurity, in the context of animal agriculture, is the series of management steps taken to prevent the introduction of infectious agents into a flock. The U.S. Department of Agriculture website also contains information on biosecurity at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/birdbiosecurity/
Commercial poultry producers, as well as residents with backyard flocks, are strongly advised to increase biosecurity measures to reduce the likelihood of introduction of poultry diseases, including HPAI and Exotic Newcastle’s disease. Some measures can be implemented easily and at little cost while others, such as preventing contact between wild birds and poultry or poultry feed, may be more difficult and costly. In any case, it is in the best interests of poultry producers to maintain the highest levels of biosecurity and health standards for their flocks.
To report sick or dying poultry, please contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Industry Division at (808) 483-7119, (808) 483-7106 or (808) 837-8092. The (808) 837-8092 number is manned 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.
BIOSECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REDUCING THE RISK OF INTRODUCTION OF AVIAN INFLUENZA
- Minimize traffic coming onto your premises.
- Avoid visiting farms that keep poultry/waterfowl/game birds.
- Seal poultry house attics and cover ventilation openings with screens.
- Keep your poultry in closed and locked house(s). Allow only essential personnel into your poultry house(s). Provide clean or disposable coveralls, head covers, and plastic boots or boots that can be cleaned and disinfected.
- Before working with your own flock, put on clean clothing and footwear.
- Do not share equipment or vehicles with other farms.
- Change disinfectant foot baths daily. Place foot baths at outside entries to poultry house(s) and egg room(s).
- Insist that vehicles and equipment entering your premises be cleaned and disinfected (Personnel and equipment that have been in direct or indirect contact with other farms pose a great risk).
- Trucks to slaughter facilities or egg processors should not be going directly to any farm to load birds. It is recommended that birds are taken to a central location for loading onto trucks. Vehicles transporting birds should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before returning to the farm. Special attention should be paid to the crates. If you must allow trucks onto your premises, do not allow personnel or crates to enter your poultry house(s) unless those personnel are wearing proper clothing and crates have been cleaned and disinfected.
- Insist that supplies brought to your premises (egg flats, carts, etc.) be new (if disposable) or be washed and disinfected (plastic flats, carts, shelves, or dividers).
- Follow the “all-in/all-out” philosophy of flock management.
- Protect open range or backyard poultry flocks from contact with wild birds and water that may have been contaminated by wild birds.
- Dispose of dead birds safely (incineration, burial, composting, rendering). Never pile dead birds outside of a building or spread in fields.
- If multiple load-outs are required on your farm, try to have all birds off the farm within 3-4 days.
- Report any increased illness or mortality to your company or to the HDOA at (808) 483-7102 or 483-7106 or (808) 837-8092 (24 hours).