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Poultry Service Industry Biosecurity Guide
5. Disease

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A) A disease alert in your delivery area

Considerations: Have you serviced other premises in the alert area? Where are you going after your service is complete? Are you keeping a log of locations and activities?

  • When an alert situation exists, schedule only essential services.
  • Only go where necessary. In an alert situation one of the most important factors in the spread of disease is people. Proactive biosecurity considerations include clean and disinfected boots, premises-designated boots, boot covers, or new boots, clean coveralls, or premises-designated coveralls.
  • Remove organic material from boots to ensure that an effective cleaning and disinfection is possible.
  • Remove organic materials from hands, wash with soap, or apply sanitizer. If no wash facilities are available on the premises, consider bringing a mixture of water and soap, as well as a hand sanitizer. Add glycol to limit freezing in the winter.
  • If providing services in an area where a disease alert exists, clean and disinfect the vehicle's wheel wells and undercarriage "as far as practicable" prior to entry (for example, at the slaughter plant) and exiting premises. Environmental conditions, location of cleaning, drainage and collection of effluent, corrosive nature, and the effectiveness of the disinfectant are factors that impact practicality.
  • Be aware that producers may request additional cleaning and disinfection of vehicles and equipment prior to entry into the premises, as well as on exit. Communicate with the producer to identify where cleaning and disinfection should occur on the premises, the recommended protocol, and the supplies available. Appendix 3 provides additional information on cleaning and disinfection of vehicles and equipment.

B) Next steps, if disease identified

Be aware of the health status and the potential risk posed by the poultry premises through communication with the producer or farm manager. Ask the producer whether the current status, disease, and vaccination history, production system consideration, or any other concerns should be considered in service scheduling. Scheduling service calls should take place in poultry premises with healthy or most vulnerable birds prior to visiting those premises with potentially harbouring disease agents. Work with the producer to consider these factors when developing service scheduling.

Service providers may be requested to provide services on a known infected premises.

  • If disease is suspected, take extra precautions. Recognize that enhanced biosecurity protocols will be required. Initiate a Disease Response Plan. Take the time to ask the questions to validate the situation. To minimize the risk of spread, more time and effort is required for cleaning, disinfection, and containment efforts when moving off the potentially infected premises.
  • When there has been a confirmed or suspicion of disease in a barn, validate, with the producer, that the manure has been aged (piled and stored longer than 14 days) or heat treated (direct heat or via composting) prior to transportation or spreading off the premises.
  • If a disease has occurred, be aware that spillage or wind carriage of potentially contaminated material during transport of large loads of live birds, mortality, or manure is a significant risk to surrounding poultry facilities. It is critical to know the disease status of the barn prior to transportation.
  • For unknown or sub-clinical situations, take these precautions:
  • Take steps to reduce the possibility of spillage:
    • Avoid overloading the vehicles.
    • Use tarps or netting.
  • When live birds remain on a premises, proper scheduling and routing of loaded vehicles (whether loading, unloading, cleanout, or manure-spreading activities) facilitates the following:
    • segregating or isolating from barns that are housing birds through distance or timing
    • regulating traffic flow within and between premises
    • reducing proximity risks between barns
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