We are well into the fall season, and after last week’s confirmation of H5N2 Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Minnesota now is a great time to assess and update your biosecurity program. Biosecurity is a series of management practices designed to prevent the introduction and spread of disease pathogens. Each piece of the program is important, and your defense against disease is only as strong as the weakest link.
Are you utilizing an effective entryway pathogen control system at your Line of Separation? Foot pans containing an EPA registered disinfectant or sanitizer can be extremely effective if managed and monitored correctly. Are you able to verify the concentration of your chemical sanitizer or disinfectant? How frequently does it need to be replaced or replenished? Is it EPA registered and proven to kill the pathogens you are attempting to control? These are important considerations for ensuring each tool you use in your program is having the best impact possible for reducing cross-contamination and spread of disease.
Have you considered water quality and the water delivery system at your facility? Waterlines are an excellent harborage area for disease-causing pathogens. Supplements, water acidifiers, and medications are commonly administered via waterlines and can provide an ideal environment for mold, algae, bacteria and/or biofilm formation. A water testing and treatment program utilized in conjunction with line disinfection or sanitization between flocks can have a major impact on reducing contamination and disease in your facility. Again, utilizing products with EPA approved claims against relevant pathogens and biofilm will offer the best protection.
Each piece of the program is important, and the success of the program relies on the weakest link. Annual biosecurity program assessment and updating based on new information, industry tools and technology is the best practice for ensuring a safe and sustainable facility, industry and food supply. For more information, visit http://www.poultryimprovement.org/documents/AuditGuidelines-BiosecurityPrinciples.pdf.