Poultry sectors in Canada comprise a variety of commercial and non-commercial productions and species - from bird growers, breeders and fancy bird enthusiasts, to egg processors and hatcheries - each of which has different objectives, management, production practices and service providers. These differences create varying degrees of risk for disease introduction and transmission, and challenges in managing biosecurity programs.
- Biosecurity for backyard flock and small bird owners
- General Producer Guide - National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard
- National avian on-farm biosecurity standard
The global emergence and re-emergence of contagious avian diseases in recent years has had a major impact on the poultry sector, both within Canada and abroad. Outbreaks of diseases such as avian influenza and virulent Newcastle disease have resulted in significant economic losses for the poultry industry. In some parts of the world, avian influenza is also posing a threat to human health. These incidents emphasize the need for a comprehensive, coordinated approach to avian biosecurity.
Led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), federal, provincial and territorial governments are continuously collaborating with industry and the public to implement and augment avian biosecurity programs aimed at reducing disease transmission and protecting the interests of Canadians.
Sources of avian diseases
Disease in poultry and other avian species can be spread in a number of ways, including:
- through diseased birds or birds carrying disease;
- through animals other than birds (farm animals, pets, wild birds and other wildlife, vermin and insects);
- on the clothing and shoes of visitors and employees moving from flock-to-flock;
- in contaminated feed, water, bedding and litter;
- from the carcasses of dead birds;
- on contaminated farm equipment and vehicles;
- through contact with neighbouring flocks; or
- in airborne particles and dust blown by the wind.
Biosecurity principles for poultry operations
Some of the basic biosecurity principles for the poultry sector include:
- Only obtain new birds from reputable sources.
- Isolate sick birds from the rest of the flock.
- Limit the frequency of introducing new birds to the flock.
- Isolate any new birds or birds returning from shows and exhibits.
- Use all-in-all-out flock movement where possible.
- Routinely clean and disinfect buildings, poultry houses, equipment, clothing and footwear.
- Designate a cleaning area for vehicles and equipment.
- Promptly dispose of mortalities and damaged eggs.
- Use plastic crates to transport birds (easier to clean).
- Traffic control:
- Control visitors' access to the flock.
- Prevent birds, rodents, pets and other animals from coming into contact with the flock.
- Require all visitors to wear clean boots, clothing and gloves.
- Maintain records of the movement of people, animals and equipment on and off the premises.
- Make sure all suppliers and other farm visitors follow your biosecurity measures.
- Flock health management:
- Monitor flock health daily.
- Employ veterinary services to help implement flock health programs.
- Maintain daily health records on your flock, detailing production levels, health concerns and treatments applied.
- Immediately report any signs of illness to your veterinarian or the nearest CFIA office.
- Program maintenance:
- Train all staff in the application of your biosecurity program.
- Regularly monitor the effectiveness of the program.
- Be aware of any avian diseases in your area and adjust your biosecurity program to meet specific needs, as required.
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