Biosecurity approaches fall into two categories. Structural biosecurity is built into the physical construction and maintenance of a facility. Operational biosecurity encompasses the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that minimize the chance of virus entering the poultry house and compliance with those SOPs. Major enhancements to structural biosecurity cannot be widely implemented by fall 2015; therefore, the recommendations in this document focus on enhancing operational biosecurity. Over the long term, poultry producers will need to consider both operational and structural biosecurity to reduce their overall risk of HPAI.
This document emphasizes the elements for improving biosecurity that are believed to be the most effective and that can be implemented before fall 2015. Based on expert opinion and experience in the recent outbreak, the highest risks for HPAI virus introduction are personnel who enter the poultry buildings, shared equipment and shared crews, procedures for disposal of dead birds, and manure management. These elements should be the highest priority in allocating resources for improved biosecurity. Further, three concepts may be new to most existing biosecurity plans and should be strongly considered for all commercial operations: a biosecurity officer, a line of separation for each building, and a perimeter buffer area.
APHIS urges producers to develop a site-specific plan to implement enhanced operational biosecurity as soon as feasible, preferably before October 2015. In addition, effective biosecurity requires vigilance; producers should put a system in place to verify that biosecurity enhancements are being followed. Lastly, this checklist assumes that infections are limited to animals. Special precautions will be needed if the virus mutates to affect people.
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