December 10, 2018

5.3 Management – Disease prevention, Bio security

Egg producers follow strict biosecurity protocols and disease prevention on the farm. Traceability from source to consumer is a guarantee of control and security. As part of the biosecurity system, the traceability from source to consumer is a guarantee of control and food security. Since 2004 each egg in the shell is marked with the code indicating the farm of origin and the housing system in which it was produced. This allows further, identify and remedy any problems identified food security throughout the chain.

Disease challenges can have a major impact on efficiency, but improvements in vaccination, nutrition and biosecurity have contributed to reducing their impact. Breeding for improved disease resistance, particularly through the adoption of molecular technologies, will be an important component of future genetic programmes. Future advances in the industry depend upon the application of new molecular tools to the development of improved diagnostic techniques for poultry disease surveillance programmes and surveillance for foodborne pathogens.

Past experience has demonstrated the need for rapidly addressing problems of food-borne pathogens in poultry meat and eggs, if consumer confidence in the safety of poultry products is to be maintained.

Some learning tips to provide biosecurity:

• Routinely clean up spilt feed.

• Treat surface water used for poultry drinking to a potable standard.

• Ensure persons entering the operation strictly adhere to the biosecurity protocols of the farm to avoid cross contamination.

• Ensure drivers of trucks strictly follow farm biosecurity protocols when:

o collecting dead birds.

o delivering or picking-up chicks and birds.

o picking up birds.

o delivering eggs.

o delivering feed.

• Properly dispose of dead birds.

• Control rodents and feral animals.

• Prevent contact between animals and wild birds with the poultry.

• Enforce biosecurity buffers.

Unfortunately, technologies developed for industrial production systems with strict biosecurity controls have little applicability in global small-scale mixed farming systems. The smallest farmers tend to be the least technologically advanced, operating with indigenous birds, semiscavenging feeding systems, minimal disease control and basic housing. However, the application of some relatively simple technologies (e.g. short term confinement rearing and creepfeeding of chicks with suitable diets, vaccination against Newcastle disease and overnight secure housing of all birds) can yield profound improvements in smallholder profitability, household food security and the empowerment of women as poultry keepers. Source: Pym et al., 2008.