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Biosecurity Measures for Poultry Transportation

Transporters have a crucial role in preventing or reducing the spread of diseases during transportation. Diseases in poultry can lead to poultry health, human health, and economic consequences. This fact sheet highlights key biosecurity measures to protect poultry from contracting or spreading diseases during transportation and minimize costs due to outbreak of diseases.

What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a set of measures used to reduce the chance of the introduction and spread of disease-causing organisms and pests. During transportation, poultry can be at risk of contracting infectious disease from exposure to infected poultry, other animals, carcasses and pests (such as rodents and insects) or contact with manure, bodily fluids, dander and aerosols of infected poultry or contaminated trailers, equipment, and people. A chain of strict biosecurity measures is recommended to maintain the health and well-being of poultry at the place of loading, during transportation and at the destination site.

Why is biosecurity important?

The transportation and movement of poultry, particularly those that are infected, provide an opportunity to spread infection/diseases such as Salmonella spp. and avian influenza. The impact and cost of a disease outbreak can far exceed the cost of implementing biosecurity measures to minimize the risk of introduction and spread of infectious diseases. The lack of biosecurity measures during transportation may result in significant financial losses for the transporters and poultry industry.

Who is responsible for biosecurity?

Producers, caretakers, transporters and everyone else involved in the transportation of poultry are responsible for ensuring animal health and welfare. It is recommended that biosecurity measures be implemented at all times during loading, on the road and during unloading. Always discuss biosecurity with the producers/bird owners before transportation.

General Biosecurity Recommendations

Biosecurity Best Practices

Only load poultry onto clean trailers

Dirty trailers can spread disease. To reduce the risk of spreading disease:

Avoid contact with other animals

Poultry can appear healthy yet still shed pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that can put other poultry at risk of an infection. To reduce this risk:

People and equipment

People, crates, modules, dollies, and other equipment that have come into contact with diseased poultry or their environment can pose a risk to poultry. To minimize this risk:

For more information, visit the biosecurity standard for livestock, poultry and deadstock transportation on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website at and Canadian Animal Health Coalition website at

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