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National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard (second edition)
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The Technical Committee of the Avian Biosecurity Advisory Committee was mandated to identify areas of practical, effective controls with respect to Avian Influenza. This was done utilizing science-based analysis that was objective, impartial and avoided preconceived assumptions or beliefs, identified gaps and allowed a cost/benefit analysis with the aim of improving implementation and compliance.

The Technical Committee work had a focus on highly contagious respiratory pathogens such as Avian Influenza. The approach taken for this work considered each unit level of operation separately (barn, premises, etc.), presence and nature of disease agent and routes of transmission.

A detailed list of scenarios, risk introduction and exit and interventions was developed. Based on extensive literature review parameter values, effectiveness, risk indexes, index interpretation, severity and acceptable levels were identified. Auditable parameters associated with each intervention were identified and compared to existing OFFS programs.

The Halvorson Risk Index tool was selected for use in the analysis of the possible interventions to calculate relative risk level pre-intervention and post-intervention and calculated reduction efficacy for each intervention. The list of interventions was sorted from most to least effective risk reduction.

The CMi survey risk score index was used where possible to corroborate the results from the above analysis. (CMi is an external consulting firm that is experienced and recognized in the field of biosecurity).

The Technical Committee produced a document listing 6 main principles for on-farm Avian Influenza biosecurity in priority order, with several associated recommendations (also in priority order) as minimum guidelines. These are targeted for effectiveness and also response stratified. These principles and recommendations are based on scientific analysis of efficacy and have high level of cost benefit return to encourage compliance. Because they are based on agent/host interaction, rather than production system, the principles are also applicable to any level of poultry production.

Revision of the Standard in 2018

The National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard, first published in 2009, has been revised and re-released in 2018 based on an increased awareness and understanding of the risks and management of infectious diseases in the poultry industry. The revised standard provides poultry producers, backyard flock owners and industry with additional guidelines and best practices on reducing the spread of disease, including but not limited to the following topics:

  • assessing disease risks
  • developing a farm biosecurity plan
  • routes of disease transmission and approaches to disease control
  • establishing biosecurity zones and managing movements of people, equipment and vehicles
  • developing disease response and self-quarantine protocols

Funding to support the revision was provided under the Growing Forward 2 initiative. The National Avian Biosecurity Advisory Comittee (ABAC), previously established in 2006, was reconvened to revise the standard. ABAC provided broad representation of poultry stakeholders and was comprised national and provincial producer organizations, federal and provincial governments, academia and poultry producers. Recent scientific literature on poultry diseases, disease outbreaks, and disease risk mitigation measures were reviewed and guidelines and best practices identified and incorporated. The revised document was approved by ABAC in January of 2018 and letters of non-objection provided by the four national poultry producer associations (Chicken Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, and Egg Farmers of Canada) by March of 2018.

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