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Biosecurity - Protecting Flocks From Disease

by 5m Editor
27 October 2006, at 9:57am

NORTHERN IRELAND - Effective biosecurity measures by bird keepers are vital in protecting Northern Ireland against the introduction of Avian Influenza.

This is the message from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to all bird keepers today as they reinforced the importance of good biosecurity during the higher risk autumn period.

A DARD Spokesperson said: "All flock owners should be vigilant and should be aware of, and practising good biosecurity."

Biosecurity means taking steps to ensure good hygiene practises are in place so that the risk of disease occurring or spreading is minimised. Taking the right measures at all times can help protect your birds, your business, the industry and the community.

One way Avian Influenza can be spread to domestic birds is through contact with infected wild birds. Contact may be direct or indirect through faecal contamination of anything that may come into contact with domestic birds such as feed, water, utensils or clothing. The risk of disease spread can therefore be reduced by minimising contact with wild birds.

The Department emphasised that flock owners should:

  • Keep birds separate from wild birds, vermin and other animals

  • Feed and water birds indoors to avoid contamination by wild birds or other animals

  • Keep premises neat and tidy and control vermin

  • Be vigilant when purchasing new stock. Use reputable sources and isolate new birds or birds you bring back to your premises, for example, from shows.

Avian Influenza is a notifiable disease and must be reported as soon as possible to the local Divisional Veterinary Office.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

5m Editor