Sudbury, Suffolk, UK, 18 April 2013
"Keeping Avian Influenza Out": Advice for UK Poultry Farmers
With Avian Influenza (AI) virus confirmed on a poultry farm in Suffolk, global veterinary biosecurity expert, Chemours is providing UK farmers with important advice on how to protect valuable flocks from possible infection.
The company wants to remind farmers and poultry producers that the virus can survive for a considerable length of time outside infected birds. This means that apart from the obvious bird to bird method of transmission the virus can also be transmitted via mechanical vectors such as vehicles, equipment and farm staff.
As a first step, poultry producers must establish a secure biosecurity perimeter to ensure that the farm is limited to one combined entrance and exit. A means of contact between the site entrance and the farm house/office - e.g. a bell or whistle - for essential callers should be provided and numbers of visitors minimised. Where possible, visitors should be provided with “farm-only” boots and overalls and a shower-in policy should be in place, along with hand-washing facilities.
On entry to the farm site, all visitors must use footdips and vehicle wheel disinfection baths filled with an approved disinfectant such as Virkon® S at a 1:100 dilution. The disinfectant must be changed on a daily basis. All vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected prior to arrival on site with only essential vehicles being allowed to enter. All other cars (staff, service vehicles etc) should be kept outside the biosecurity perimeter. Adjacent loading bays, paths and roadways should also be disinfected using an approved disinfectant. In addition, feed spills and standing water should be quickly removed as this can attract migratory birds, rats, mice and insects, all of which are potential vectors through which Avian Influenza can be introduced and spread to a poultry flock.
When cleaning and disinfecting poultry houses and farm buildings in accordance with a terminal cleaning and disinfection biosecurity programme, personnel must be provided with, and wear personal protective equipment comprising of face mask; eye protection, coveralls; heavy duty rubber gloves; and rubber or polyurethane boots.
Virkon® S is a scientific breakthrough with performance characteristics that have defined biosecurity standards. Not surprisingly, Virkon® S is selected by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and Governments worldwide to secure biosecurity and strengthen Emergency Disease Control (EDC) contingency planning.