Saturday, September 12, 2015

Avian flu could come with fall waterfowl migration

The Feather Boards Command Center is warning poultry farmers that migrating ducks and geese could be carrying avian influenza as they pass over farms on their way south this fall.

‘Properly implemented biosecurity is the poultry producers’ first-line of defense against infectious agents. Your farm biosecurity protocols should be well thought-out, stringently implemented and continuously followed,’ it is advising all quota-holding poultry farmers – egg, chicken, turkey and hatching egg producers.

“The threat of re-emergence of HPAI (highly-pathogenic avian influenza) is real.

“FBCC (Feather Board Command Center) would like to remind producers to rigorously follow their daily biosecurity protocols, as well as consider appropriate additional biosecurity measures to help prevent disease occurrence and spread in the province.

“The following is a list of biosecurity measures for Ontario poultry farms:

   Each farmer, employee and every person entering all poultry barns must put on clean footwear, protective clothing and follow all biosecurity protocols on every entry into barns.

   Minimize visits to other poultry production sites and avoid any co-mingling of birds or contact with outside/wild birds.

   Avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites.

   Ensure all vehicles/farm equipment that access the barn vicinity are properly washed and disinfected and that the laneway is restricted/secured.

   Ensure adequate training of farm and company personnel in biosecurity and disease prevention.

   Ensure adequate control of wild birds and rodents.

   Have a pressure washer or a hose available to wash tires and equipment, and make this available to all service vehicles.

   If possible, “heat treat” the barn/litter ahead of chick or poult placement (to 30°C for a minimum of three days).

Poultry growers should immediately contact their veterinarian and board if their birds show any signs of illness.”