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    Biosecurity Measures - Advisory office Memorandum No.50-3/2006-LDT(AQ) dated Feb 22, 2006 to All the Secretaries (Animal Husbandry) and Directors (Animal Husbandry) of States

    50-3/2006-LDT(AQ)
    Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Government of India

    Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.
    Dated 22nd february, 2006.

    Sub: Biosecurity Measures
    A series of actions are to be taken in case of HPAI outbreaks which have already been dealt at Part II of the Action Plan (Pages 24 & 25)

    However strict biosecurity measures to be taken in respect of avian influenza can be classified into two categories according to the nature and scale of poultry farming:

    1. Specific to Organized Farms,
    2. Specific to Backyard Farms,

    1. SPECIFIC TO Organized farms:

    The following biosecurity measures are recommended to be followed by the organised farm sector.

    • A) Location of Farm: It is preferable that organized poultry farms are not located in close proximity to the water bodies.
    • B) Construction of buildings:
      1. a) In all organized poultry farms, provision should exist to prevent the entry of wild birds and to extent possible, of rodents and other vermin also into the sheds used by poultry.
      2. b) Buildings should be constructed in such a way, so that they can be cleaned easily and disinfected effectively when needed.
    • C) Restrictions on farm personnel/visitors:
      1. Entry of non-essential visitors including pharmaceutical and vaccine representatives inside the farm should be regulated.
      2. Personnel involved in the day-to-day activities of the farm viz. service personnel, delivery personnel, utility personnel, veterinarians, scientists, state health personnel etc. must wear appropriate coveralls i.e. cap, dress and shoes. Shoes if not changed, must be scrubbed with a long-handled scrub brush to remove droppings, mud or debris. The clothes should also be washed with laundry detergent and must also be disinfected.
      3. Provision of a facility should be made at the gate of the farm for changing clothes. shoes etc. during entry and that facility should have sufficient quantity of sanitizer/disinfectant for use of concerned person(s).
      4. Breeding farm personnel should be prohibited from visiting other farms unnecessarily and if necessary, they should visit the farm after taking every precautionary measure.
      5. Farm personnel should not attend bird shows or other events where other birds or birds from other farms are present.
    • D) Restriction on vehicle movement and its personnel:
      All vehicles should be parked in designated places and should be disinfected be/fore entering and immediately after leaving the premises. Personnel deployed for the vehicles, e.g. drivers should not be allowed to access the premises beyond the designated parking area.
    • E) Restrictions on equipment, supplies, personnel etc. of other farms:
      1. Equipment, supplies, personnel etc. should not be borrowed from the other farms as far as possible. However, if necessary, proper biosecurity measures such as disinfection etc. may be allowed.
      2. Only disposable egg trays and egg boxes should be sent from farms to hatcheries or reusable boxes should be disinfected on exit/entry point. Wooden pallets or cardboard egg cartons should not be shared as they are porous and cannot be adequately cleaned and disinfected.
    • F) Farming Practice:
      1. In a poultry farm, practice of uniform age-group policy should be adopted. This is best done by ‘all-in-all-out’ production system.
      2. Mixed farming of duck, poultry, pig etc. should be discouraged.
      3. Regarding entry of new flock, care must be taken to ensure that all birds are obtained from healthy stock.
      4. As feed and water can be a source of infection, feed should be tested for each batch and clean water be provided.
      5. Farm premises should be disinfected periodically to prevent ingress of any disease, especially before introduction of new batch.
      6. A recommended area of nearly six feet around the building should be kept free from any vegetation, organic matter/litter, feather, debris, decaying material to the extent possible to provide a protective ring.
      7. Proper measures/strategies may be adopted for effective and early detection of disease. Any unusual mortality/any such suspicion should be reported immediately to the nearest veterinary authorities.
      8. Dead birds should be disposed off scientifically within the farm premises.
    • G) Provision of Quarantine Facilities:
      1. Before introduction of new batch of flock, the birds should be kept separate from the rest of the flock for at least 30 days.
      2. Any bird sent to a fair/exhibition should not be allowed back into the farm to mix with the farm birds.

    2. SPECIFIC TO Backyard farms:

    • Access to the poultry from outside should be restricted to the extent possible e.g. by way of fencing etc.
    • Cockfighting should be prevented.
    • Washing of hands with soap, water and a disinfectant before and after handling of poultry birds is advocated.
    • As regards consumption of poultry products, WHO advises that “poultry and poultry products can be safely consumed provided these items are properly cooked and properly handled during food preparation. The H5N1 virus is sensitive to heat. Normal temperatures used for cooking (70°C in all parts of the food) will kill the virus. Consumers need to be sure that all parts of the poultry are fully cooked (no “pink” parts) and that eggs, too, are properly cooked (no “runny” yolks)”.
    • Care should be taken for proper washing and sanitizing cutting knives by using soap/ disinfectant including the village market.
    • Limiting contact between poultry flocks and other birds/ species through good biosecurity practices is the key to minimizing the likelihood of entry of any type of avian influenza virus. Water and feed supplies for poultry flocks must be managed so that they do not become contaminated with faeces etc. of other birds. Intermingling of species such as chicken, duck, turkey, pig etc. should be avoided; this can be done by means such as Erect pens to keep domesticated poultry away from wild birds.
    • Early detection is important to prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, owners of backyard poultry should be alerted to the symptoms of avian influenza/unusual mortality and sickness and to report any such suspicion immediately to the nearest veterinary authorities. Some of the symptoms are as under :-
      1. Sudden death
      2. Diarrhoea
      3. Decrease or complete loss of egg production, soft-shelled, misshapen eggs.
      4. Sneezing, gasping for air, nasal discharge, coughing
      5. Lack of energy and appetite.
      6. Swelling of tissues around eyes and in neck.
      7. Purple discoloration of the wattles, combs and legs.
      8. Depression, muscular tremors, drooping wings, twisting of head and neck, incoordination, complete paralysis.

    Local and voluntary surveillance is advocated to be strengthened on part of poultry owners in the vicinity of wetland or other places visited by wild/migratory birds. Unusual mortalities in wild/migratory birds should be reported immediately to the nearest Forest/Veterinary Officials.

    (P. DANDAPAT)
    Assistant Commissioner (AQ)

    Distribution:
    All the Secretaries, Animal Husbandry Departments.

    Copy to:
    Directors (Animal Husbandry) of all the states/UTs.