Why the need for biosecurity?
Maintaining good biosecurity will help reduce the amount of disease that you bring into your flock from outside.
Birds in rear or in large population groups are more at risk of disease outbreaks due to an increased susceptibility as the birds are biologically and mentally stressed.
Disease transmission more readily occurs when birds are permanently in close proximity to each other.
Once game birds are released then the pressure of diseases are greatly reduced.
How to achieve good biosecurity?
We recommend the following measures to be in place to reduce the risk in the following situations;
Buying in new stock;
- Isolate new birds coming in and avoid mixing between new and old stock until you are sure of the newcomers’ health status. This may require isolation for up to four weeks.
- Disinfect travel crates between uses.
Passing disease on via people, vehicles or objects;
- Disinfect vehicles from off site on arrival, paying special attention to the wheels and undercarriage. Alternatively park those vehicles away from the fields the birds are in.
- Screen people coming onto site. Have they come from another game bird site? Has that site had an outbreak of disease recently? Some bacteria and viruses can survive on clothing for days.
- Disinfect objects being transported between different groups of birds or ideally allow each group to have its own equipment.
Between different age groups;
- Ensure a change or footwear or foot dip (preferably with a DEFRA approved disinfectant against diseases of the poultry order) between groups of birds. It is very easy to walk pathogens between birds.
- Keep different age groups separate as this helps prevent the cycling and build up of certain diseases within the flock.
- Ensure a thorough cleaning and disinfection of housing between each batch of birds.
- Move housing and setup to another patch of ground between each batch of birds.
Foot dips (preferable covered) can be a good first line of defence to reduce the risk of bringing in disease.
A large part of maintaining good biosecurity is appropriate cleaning and disinfection between batches of birds.