Keeping Your Birds Safe

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been hitting the US hard this year. Nationwide more than 48 million birds have been affected. In the state of Iowa alone 400 people have filed for unemployment as a direct result of this disease that has spread like wildfire. With no new reported outbreaks since June 17th producers and the poultry industry have been able to take a short respite in order to prepare for a return of the virus that some at USDA are forecasting has the potential to be just as devastating as it was the first half of the year. That is of course unless a few changes are implemented.

Currently, the most contested topic is the use of vaccines. A viable vaccine has been created and approved by USDA but it presents major negative trade implications. Currently a majority of countries (including the USA) do not allow the import of poultry and poultry products from birds that have been treated with avian influenza vaccines.

However, while departments of the USDA, industry associations active in the areas of international trade, and foreign governments argue about the future of vaccines in the treatment of HPAI, there are things within your power as a producer that can be employed. Biosecurity protocols have become the first line of defense against the virus. It has become apparent that this virus requires much more than just having protocols. What is really needed is a robust Biosecurity Plan that identifies and addresses biosecurity hazards to the farm. Once your plan is in place the most critical step is training all of your employees on its content, specifically what is expected of them and why.

Praedium’s extensive background in risk assessments, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Plans, and employee training can help you build up your biosecurity program. It’s time to strengthen your defenses, and we can help. Contact us at: 515-362-7555 or send an email to: