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in Italy we have dedicated specific checklists for biosecurity assesment (currently one for broiler, another for meat turkeys and another for hens) and we are working to improve this system also with dedicated checklist for other production/species.
Public Vet Services are in charge to perform official inspections to asses biosecurity with these checklists and since the last summer we are entering the data collected in a dedicated system called classyfarm (where we enter data also about animal welfare and antimicrobial use) that in the next years will be the pilar for the rysk assesment of our poultry farm and this will help us to procede with official inspections priorytizing them according to the level of rysk.
Of course Official Vet Services in case of non compliance write specific reccomandation for the improvement of the specific biosecurity measures that have been considered not complying.
about dust if you have an air forced ventilation system it means that air, dust and virus go out from the house and if quite close (less than 1 km) you have another poultry farm this is a rysk. About inscets I don’t have data about their specific role, but in general I know that they could reparesent a way for the transmission of the virus.
Going to biosecurity measures to avoid the spread of AI virus (but in general of any pathogen) from the house through the ventilation system in Italy we are discussing about some measures to be adopetd. I consider that the presence of closed rooms where air goes out form the house could be effective to limit the spread and reduce this rysk.
Among the wild birds the main rysk for AI introduction are migratory birds such as ducks and goose. These birds like open spaces where to fly, so the presence of trees around the barn could prevent their arrival and stop. In addition the removal of any source of feed and water in the parks could limit their presence.
In my opinion also the use of winter garden could be a possible solution to let the free range birds go out from the barn and at the same time avoid their presence in the parks.
About falcons…they could be an option to avoid the presence of ducks and goose, but they also could be one of the possible source of the virus.
In Italy Public Vets Services are in charge for the management of the outbreak and the supervision of the operation. There are private dedicated companies in charge for the depopulation (with gas) operations such as for the removal and transport of the carcasses.
To avoid the possible contamination of the areas (including neighbourg poultry farms) around the outbreak we adopt disinfection during the depopulation operations not only for the trucks (or the other means of transport) but also for the areas here we manage the operations.
In general then you must consider that when we have an outbreak immediately after the confirmation we stop completely any movements of animals (or their products), means of tarnsports and visitors from and into the farm.10 November 2022 at 1:00 pm in reply to: Biosecurity measures to prevent avian influenza virus to enter in poultry farms #4987
You are welcome Anne Christine. Probably the less implemented practices are the proper use of the farm and of the house hygiene lock, but to convince the farmer to implement them is really not easy. If they have never tryed AI (or any other severe disease) they are in trouble to understand what is correct to do and why. Of course we always try to explain them the reasons for which they must follow certain rules, but sometimes, if they don’t touch directly the problem they don’t really understand that some measures are effective. This point is also part of the control of the movements of the visitors and of course the strict restriction to access the farm for any kind of visitors is very important.
Cureently…I don’t know how I can answer because what I mean with “currently” it is what we have exactly in this moment, but the situation is changing hour after hour…every day we have new outbreaks (in wild birds and in poultry farms) in different provinces, basically in area at more high rysk (on the route of the migratory birds and with the main concentration of poultry farms). On the web site of the IZSVe there is a dedicated page with the update of the current situation. Now, you can find 9 outbreaks, but we are waiting for the following update and I know that we have at least 3 more outbreaks (detected during the last 2 days). Of course we are implementing restrictive measures in the areas (protection and surveillance zones) around the outbreaks, but we have adopted also additional measures in the main rysk area (called ZUR, in italian meaning More Restricted Area). One of this (probably the most important) is the stop (until the end of this month) of restocking meat turkeys in this ZUR to limit the number od suscepitble birds.
About compostage I can answer you that for the same reason I described in the previous answer it is teoretically possible but not so easy aplliable. During the 2021-2022 epidemic we never did. In addition I think that if we are speaking of a small number of animals in an area where you have houses and farms close to the outbreak is not so easy to adopt this solution.
The management of carcasses of birds dead because of AI is under EU Regulation 1069/2009. Basically we use dedicated rendering plant for category 2 material (as carcasses are) treatment, transported with dedicated trucks. In some cases we have used also dedicated and autorizhed biogas plant for the treatment of carcasses. Teoretically it is possible also to bury carcasses in the same site of the outbreak, but to do this we need specific authorization of the autorities competent on the environment, that will not automatically authorize you to do it. So, by one side we need to work fastly, by the other we need to evaluate which could be the best solution. If you transport carcasses you are taking a rysk to spread the virus, even if you use special dedicated trucks and so it could be better to bury carcasses on site, but you are not complete free to decide which option to use and so it means that if a good solution is non so easy and fastly appliable you go to the second option.
In EU the depopulation of AI outbreaks is under control of EU Regulation 1099/2009, which states the different methods allowed for the different species. To answer in details we need more than a few words, but I try to summarize. In general with big flocks of commercial poultry farms we use to gas animals, with CO2 or N2. We can do this operation in the whole house or in dedicated gas chambers (containers) outside the house. I consider that the loading of birds to this containers (even if the container is usually in front or very close to the house where infected birds are) is a very critical point for the spread of the virus, so for this reason I prefer the whole house gasing. In this case we have only to remove carrcasses at the end of the operations from inside to the container but the movements of tractors and people from inside to outside are less than that we must do to gas birds directly on the container and so the rysk of spread of the virus outside is probably lower.
In addition there are other reason to make me prefer the whole house gasing such as less stress for birds, less stress for operators, easier control of the proper management of the operations.10 November 2022 at 10:31 am in reply to: Importance of backyards to avoid the spread of avian influenza #4975
Backyards are a very critical point for the management of AI. Of course, basically they involve a very small number of birds and the possible connection with other poultry farms is in general limited, but they are not always know (meaning registered in our data base) and very difficult to be controlled, so for this reason they can be considered to play a role in the spread of AI too.
Turkeys and laying hens are historically the species more involved during the past epidemic and commonly considered more susceptible. But during the 2021-2022 epidemic a lot of broiler farms (even if birds usually were not symtomatic) have been involved too.In addition during the past epidemic I have observed directly ducks, goose, guinea fowls and quails infected and symptomatic too.
AI virus is a respiratory virus, so for this reason, of course, air plays an important role on the diffusion of the virus. This is more relevant when you have a big number of animals in a limited space (barn, farm and region too). It means that the direct, or in any case, strict contact between infected and healty birds is relevant. But the recent (2021-2022 epidemic) events showed as that the forced air ventilation system, very common now in poultry farms (in Italy basically in broiler and laying hens farms) means the passive spread on the area around the infected farm of a very huge quantity of virus and so if there are many farms one close to the other this could be the possible origin of the infection. It happened during the 2021-2022 epidemic that this passive spread of AI virus involved farms that were around 1 km far from an outbreak.10 November 2022 at 7:44 am in reply to: Biosecurity measures to prevent avian influenza virus to enter in poultry farms #4968
An outbreak of AI could be primary (directly from the environment/wild animals) or secondary (from another outbreak) and we must start from here. So, it means that, by one side, it could be effective to avoid any direct or indirect contact of the poultry with wild animals, as, by the other side it could be effective to avoid any direct or indirect contact with other poultry farms. To go more into details I consider that to close poultry into the barn in cases of free range poultry farm, to use antibirds net on the window of the house, to mantein the doors/gates of the barn all time closed, to use properly the farm and the house hygiene lock, to limit the movements into the farm of any trucks or any other means of transport, strictly permitting the access when really necessary and only after an appropriate disinfection at the entrance, are very important measures to adopt. In addition I consider very important also to limit the access of any kind of visitors (vets, technicians, others).