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"Keeping H5N1 Avian Influenza Out" - Advice for UK Poultry Farmers

by 5m Editor
20 November 2007, at 12:30pm

SUFFOLK - With the highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza (AI) virus confirmed on a poultry farm in Suffolk, global veterinary biosecurity expert, DuPont Animal Health Solutions (DAHS) is providing UK farmers with important advice on how to protect valuable flocks from possible infection.

When considering the H5N1 AI virus, farmers and poultry producers must remember that the virus can survive for a considerable length of time outside infected birds. This means that apart from the obvious bird to bird method of transmission the virus can also be transmitted via mechanical vectors such as vehicles, equipment and farm staff.

As a first step, poultry producers must establish a secure biosecurity perimeter to ensure that the farm is limited to one combined entrance and exit. A means of contact between the site entrance and the farm house/office - e.g. a bell or whistle - for essential callers should be provided and numbers of visitors minimised. Where possible, visitors should be provided with "farm-only" boots and DuPont™ Tyvek® overalls and a shower-in policy should be in place, along with hand-washing facilities.

On entry to the farm site, all visitors must use footdips and vehicle wheel disinfection baths filled with an approved disinfectant such as Virkon® S at a 1:100 dilution. The disinfectant must be changed on a daily basis. All vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected prior to arrival on site with only essential vehicles being allowed to enter. All other cars (staff, service vehicles etc) should be kept outside the biosecurity perimeter. Adjacent loading bays, paths and roadways should also be disinfected using an approved disinfectant.

When cleaning and disinfecting poultry houses and farm buildings in accordance with a terminal biosecurity programme, personnel must be provided with and wear personal protective equipment comprising of respirator face mask; eye protection, DuPont™ Tychem® coveralls; heavy duty rubber gloves; and rubber or polyurethane boots.

DAHS and its local partners around the world are continually working with international governments and independent organisations to help prevent and control the spread of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1. DuPont will assist in the development and implementation of biosecurity programmes, in addition to providing training for the appropriate use of its biosecurity products and equipment, including Virkon® S. Virkon® S has been independently proven highly effective against Avian Influenza H5N1 and during the outbreak of the disease in the Netherlands in 2003 was the only disinfectant purchased by the Dutch authorities (the RVV). This decision followed expert consultation with other global governmental bodies.

To learn more about implementing a full cleaning and disinfection biosecurity programme, poultry farmers can visit the world's largest web-based biosecurity resource www.ahs.dupont.com

5m Editor