Farm access represents the first critical control point for entry of an infectious disease organism into the farm. It is essential, therefore, to have a perimeter that discourages or prevents unauthorized entry by people and their equipment, while allowing authorized entry when certain conditions have been met. All visitors, including casual and professional, and equipment entering the area behind the access control, referred to as the Controlled Access Zone, should be subjected to conditions and procedures that will minimize the chance of a disease infecting the flock.
While all producers will agree that keeping disease out of their flock is the ultimate goal of a biosecurity program, it is equally important to keep any pathogen that may make its way onto the farm contained within the farm. Biosecurity is a two-way process.
All visitors should be strongly encouraged to comply with the entry and exit procedures required by the farm’s biosecurity procedures when entering the Controlled Access Zone. Those refusing to comply can be refused entry. Vehicles should also be kept out of the Controlled Access Zone unless absolutely necessary. If a vehicle or equipment is required to enter the Controlled Access Zone, procedures to be followed should include cleaning and, when necessary, disinfection.
People accompanying the vehicles or equipment should be required to pay attention to personal sanitation, which includes wearing clean protective outerwear, especially foot covering, and washing and sanitizing hands as much as possible. Visitor entry into the Controlled Access Zone should be through the primary access. Secondary accesses should be limited to farm use only as much as possible.
Technical Service Personnel and allied trades (hatchery, feed, veterinarians, inspectors, government regulators, equipment representatives, etc.) are important but also pose a significant threat to the biosecurity of the farm and poultry industry. The reality is that these individuals have to move from farm to farm in order to conduct their jobs. Significant efforts should be made in order to ensure that they adhere to biosecurity protocols. The producer should attempt to monitor this to ensure it is happening.
The following are recommended practices relating to farm access that enhance biosecurity on non-supply managed poultry operations:
The security of the Controlled Access Zone is strengthened by effective signage.
Signs should be readily visible, clean, legible and attached to the secure barrier where they can be readily seen. The signs can clearly indicate that biosecurity is in effect and that access is controlled. Contact information should be part of the primary access signage and instructions to locate the primary access should be included on the secondary access signage.
All primary accesses to the Controlled Access Zone should have a cleaning and decontamination site for vehicles and personnel.
Accumulations of organic matter can harbour and protect infectious organisms that can then be transported onto or off of the premises. These accumulations should be removed to reduce the risk of disease transmission. In the event of an infectious disease outbreak, disinfection may be required to further reduce the opportunity for disease to spread to or from the premises.
It is important to differentiate between “Cleaning and decontamination” and “disinfection”. Cleaning and decontamination removes any dirt or organic debris that may carry disease-causing organisms from vehicles and equipment. Disinfection is another step in which the vehicle or equipment is treated with a chemical that is designed to kill viruses and bacteria. During routine operations, when there is no specific disease threat, only cleaning and decontamination is required. During a disease event, such as a Notifiable Avian Influenza outbreak, however, the additional step of disinfection will be required.FA3 “One-way traffic flow helps to prevent the transportation of pathogens.
Where possible, all primary accesses to the Controlled Access Zone should be constructed of hard surface or gravel that prevents any persistent accumulation of pooled water.
Standing water can harbour infectious diseases that may be transported to or from the premises by vehicular traffic and people. Such protected pathogens also serve as a reservoir that may re-infect the farm after cleaning and disinfection.
Driveways should be properly graded and maintained at all times. The test for an effectively maintained driveway is that there will be no standing water evident at any time. All driveways, and particularly gravel driveways, should be maintained to prevent potholes and grades in which water may accumulate.
The construction of the driveway should be adequate for the area and conditions under which it will be used. It is recommended that the driveway be planned and constructed by a reliable company. A well-constructed and engineered driveway will mean significantly less ongoing maintenance.
The preferred barrier is a fixed gate. The gate should be high enough to be visible from a car or truck cab and to prevent the vehicle from moving through without opening the gate. It should be made of sturdy, rust-resistant metal with permanently fixed posts (e.g. set in concrete) at both the hinge and latching ends. Approved biosecurity signage should be securely fixed to the gate and clearly visible to approaching traffic.
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