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Protecting your birds from disease has always been important. However, taking biosecurity to the next level is now more crucial than ever. As we work together to eliminate HPAI and add strength to North Carolina ’s poultry industry, there are small steps you can take that will have a big impact.
- Eliminate opportunities for your birds to interact with wild birds. We know that wild waterfowl are carriers of disease, including HPAI. The best way to avoid diseases that wildlife carry is to keep domestic animals separated from the wild.
- If you have birds at home, do not visit another farm, home or facility that also has birds. If you must visit another premises, be sure to shower and put on clean clothes and shoes beforehand.
- Remember that vehicles can be vehicles for disease transmission. Before you drive down the road, consider where you are going. Will you be heading to the fair, another farm or a live bird market? If the answer is yes, be sure your vehicle is clean and free of dirt, manure and other organic material.
- Early detection can help prevent the spread of disease. Knowing the signs to look for and monitoring the health of your birds on a regular basis is very important. Some signs to look for include nasal discharge, unusually quiet birds, decreased food and water consumption, drop in egg production, and increased/unusual death loss in your flock.
- Report sick and dead birds to state health officials immediately. If your birds appear sick or you have experienced increased mortality, contact the Office of the State Veterinarian immediately at 919-733-7601. All persons practicing veterinary medicine in North Carolina shall report the following diseases and conditions to the State Veterinarian's office by telephone within two hours after the disease is reasonably suspected to exist.
- NCDA&CS biosecurity poster for feed stores & bird shows (PDF)
- USDA-APHIS Biosecurity guide for poultry and bird owners (PDF)
General Biosecurity (from USDA Policy for HPAI Mitigation)Biosecurity is the most critical element to protecting non-infected flocks from currently circulating HPAI viruses. These measures should be heightened in states that have ongoing HPAI infection, as well as in production systems with infected premises. The following biosecurity practices are strongly recommended for all producers on all premises as part of the HPAI response, and should be part of a comprehensive biosecurity plan.
- Keep poultry away from wild birds. Keep all poultry away from areas where they could potentially share an environment with wild birds, particularly waterfowl or shorebirds. Ideally, poultry should be housed indoors.
- Don’t let wild birds (or fecal material) into barns.
a. Close barn doors at all times.
b. Consider delaying total cleans of finishing farms until the current HPAI outbreak has been contained. This will protect accidental introduction of contaminated material onto the farm, will help avoid any damage to thawing driveways, and will avoid creation of watering holes for migrating birds.
c. Do not move equipment into or between barns containing poultry without thorough cleaning and disinfecting, particularly when it is muddy outside.
- Nothing should enter a barn unless it’s been properly cleaned and disinfected. Equipment (including parts, loading panels, etc.) should be stored inside so that wild birds (or their droppings) don’t come into contact with it. Avoid driving trucks (such as shavings and poult trucks) into barns; if that’s not possible, clean and disinfect them thoroughly before entering. EPA -registered antimicrobial products with label claims for avian flu disinfectants (pdf)
- Use barn - specific boots and coveralls. Keep protective gear in the barn’s entryway and use it each time a person enters the barn. Upon exit, remove the coveralls and boots and leave in the entryway. They should not be worn outside.
- Eliminate standing water to prevent wild waterfowl from gathering on the farm.
- Address feed spills as soon as they occur to avoid attracting wild birds to the farm.
- Eliminate unnecessary farm visits. Nonessential personnel should not enter the farm.
Truck and Vehicle Biosecurity
In States with ongoing HPAI transmission, all trucks and other vehicles potentially contaminated with avian influenza virus should be cleaned and disinfected before entering and after leaving a premises. These vehicles include (but are not limited to) pullet trucks, shell egg trucks, feed trucks, and tankers. For specific guidance on cleaning and disinfecting vehicles, see the HPAI Cleaning and Disinfection SOP, found on the APHIS emergency management website.
Wild birds — including all waterfowl — should not have access to any feed that will be or is being fed to any type of poultry. Feed must be protected from external birds and their feces, as well as
any other potential contaminated material. Feed that is already contaminated should not be fed to poultry flocks until further notice, unless appropriate mitigation techniques (such as heat or
chemical treatment), approved by State and APHIS officials, are applied.
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Mailing Address:1030 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1030
Physical Address: 2 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: 919-707-3250; FAX: 919-733-2277
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