One of the three basic components of biosecurity is prevention of the introduction of a disease agent. This requires, as much as possible, the strict physical isolation of barns and birds from potential disease agents.
Once a flock or farm is contaminated, the owner of a poultry facility is faced with the challenge and increased costs associated with cleaning and disinfection as well as the potential reliance on vaccines and medications in subsequent flocks. Especially during the time of initial establishment of a poultry operation, there exists an opportunity to locate the farm in such a way as to minimize the potential for contact with pathogens being transported from public corridors or other farms.
For existing farms, knowledge and communication with neighbouring flocks is also important in planning for the eventuality of a disease outbreak, and to facilitate timely response in the case of a disease.”
The following are recommended practices relating to farm layout and location that enhance biosecurity on non-supply managed poultry operations:
- Aerial transmission of organisms for up to 2 kilometres has been described for some viruses. Ideally, poultry operations should be situated at least 2 kilometres apart from each other, but at least 400 metres or more is considered adequate.Otherwise, siting buildings far enough apart that it is inconvenient to move people, equipment, or animals will help decrease the spread of pathogens.
- It is important that buildings be located far enough from public roads (ideally more than 100 metres) to help decrease the spread of pathogens both into and out of the farm.
- Water bodies are places where wild water fowl tend to congregate. Any water body within 250 metres of your poultry operation and its Controlled Access Zone is questionable and any potential options for adjusting this should be considered.
FAMILIARITY WITH NEIGHBOURING OPERATIONS
- Familiarity with neighbours is one of the simplest ways to help improve biosecurity on a farm. This knowledge will assist with planning for biosecurity incidents, as well as notification and response to ensure containment of pathogens in the case of a biosecurity event. Familiarity with neighbours may also help to protect the flock itself from theft.
Transmission of organisms between birds may occur over distances of up to 2 kilometres. The greater the number of other operations within that distance, the tighter the biosecurity controls which should be in place, even when there is not a specific disease outbreak.
- Having contact information for any neighbouring poultry operations will allow you to quickly notify your neighbours in case of a disease or pathogen so they can enhance their biosecurity procedures.
- It would be useful to meet with neighbouring poultry operations to discuss biosecurity plans and protocols and it would be useful to involve a veterinarian in these meetings. If possible, neighbours within several kilometres of each other should agree to share full information about disease status of their flocks.
PERSONNEL WORKING ON OTHER POULTRY FARMS
- Pathogens can be potentially transmitted from people to poultry, both directly or indirectly through people wearing clothing or boots contaminated with manure from sick animals from another flock.This poses a particularly high risk when combined with the absence of a formal biosecurity plan or protocol being in place for your farm or the other farm(s) on which your personnel may be working. For that reason, enhanced biosecurity protocols should be considered for any personnel that also work on other poultry farms.