Poultry Health & Welfare Program

“The success of the poultry industry starts with the care and wellbeing of the bird. USPOULTRY provides information and tools to our members to achieve optimal animal welfare.”

Checklist for Self-Assessment of Enhanced Biosecurity

Provide your farm information and specify current status regarding each of the biosecurity recommendations below.

Farm Information:

Type of Grower or Producer: Select all that apply.

Recommendations for Biosecurity:

1. Biosecurity Coordinator

The Biosecurity Coordinator is responsible for the development, implementation, maintenance and ongoing effectiveness of the biosecurity program. Depending on the type and size of poultry operation, the Biosecurity Coordinator's responsibility could be at the farm, production site, production complex, or company level. The Biosecurity Coordinator should be knowledgeable in the principles of biosecurity. The Biosecurity Coordinator, along with the personnel and caretakers on the farms and production sites are responsible for the implementation of the biosecurity program. The Biosecurity Coordinator should review the biosecurity program at least once during each calendar year and make revisions as necessary.

2. Training Employees and Other Personnel

The biosecurity program should include training materials that cover both farm site-specific procedures as well as premises-wide and/or company-wide procedures as appropriate. All poultry owners and caretakers that regularly enter the perimeter buffer area (PBA) must complete this training. The training must be done at least once per calendar year and documented. New poultry caretakers should be trained at hire. Training records should be retained as stated in Title 9-CFR §145.12(b) and 146.11(e).

3. Line of Separation (LOS)

The Line of Separation (LOS) is a functional line separating the poultry house(s) and the poultry inside from exposure to potential disease sources. Generally, it is defined by the walls of the poultry building with practical deviations to account for entry points, structural aspects, or outside access areas. The site specific biosecurity plan should describe or illustrate the boundaries of the LOS and clearly outline the procedures to be followed when caretakers, visitors, or suppliers cross it. For poultry enclosed in outdoor pens, similar principles for the LOS can be applied for defining and controlling the LOS for each pen. In this circumstance, the walls of the outdoor pens would provide template for defining the LOS to be used when entering or exiting the pens. For poultry with non-enclosed outdoor access, the LOS is recommended but not required. Further, in an emergency disease state where the transmissible disease risk is heightened, it is highly recommended to enclose all poultry and enforce a LOS.

4. Perimeter Buffer Area (PBA)

The perimeter buffer area is a functional zone surrounding the poultry houses or poultry raising area that separates them from areas unrelated to poultry production on that site and/or adjoining properties. It is comprised of the poultry houses and poultry raising areas as well as nearby structures and high traffic areas involved in the daily function of the poultry farm. This would usually include but not be limited to such things as feed bins, manure sheds, composting areas, egg rooms, generators, pump rooms, etc. The site-specific biosecurity plan should describe or illustrate the boundaries of the PBA and clearly outline the procedures that caretakers, visitors, or suppliers must follow when entering and leaving the PBA.

5. Personnel

The biosecurity program and/or the site-specific biosecurity plan should include provisions specifically addressing procedures and biosecurity PPE for site-dedicated personnel. The plan should likewise address the procedures and biosecurity PPE for non-farm personnel. The plan should also specify procedures which all personnel having had recent contact with other poultry or avian species should follow before reentering the PBA.

6. Wild Birds, Rodents and Insects

Poultry operations should have control measures to prevent contact with and protect poultry from wild birds, their feces and their feathers as appropriate to the production system. These procedures should be reviewed further during periods of heightened risks of disease transmission. Control programs for rodents, insects, and other animals should be in place and documented.

7. Equipment and Vehicles

The biosecurity plan should include provisions for procedures for cleaning, disinfection, or restriction of sharing of equipment where applicable. Vehicle access and traffic patterns should be defined in the site specific biosecurity plan.

8. Mortality Disposal

Mortality should be collected daily, stored and disposed in a manner that does not attract wild birds, rodents, insects, and other animals and minimizes the potential for cross-contamination from other facilities or between premises. It is recommended that dead bird disposal be on-site, if possible. Mortality disposal should be described in the site-specific biosecurity plan.

9. Manure and Litter Management

Manure and spent litter should be removed, stored and disposed of in a manner to prevent exposure of susceptible poultry to disease agents. Onsite litter and manure storage should limit attraction of wild birds, rodents, insects, and other animals.

10. Replacement Poultry

Replacement poultry should be sourced from health-monitored flocks which are in compliance with NPIP guidelines. They should be transported in equipment and vehicles that are regularly cleaned, disinfected and inspected. Biosecurity protocols should be in place for equipment and personnel involved in the transport of replacement poultry.

11. Water Supplies

It is recommended that drinking water or water used for evaporative cooling be sourced from a contained supply such as a well or municipal system. If drinking water comes from a surface water source, water treatment must be used to reduce the level of disease agents. If surfaces have been cleaned or flushed with surface water, subsequent disinfection should be employed to prevent disease transmission. If water treatment is not possible, a risk analysis should be performed to determine actions needed to mitigate risks.

12. Feed and Replacement Litter

Feed, feed ingredients, bedding, and litter should be delivered, stored and maintained in a manner that limits exposure to and contamination by wild birds, rodents, insects, and other animals. Feed spills within the PBA (outside of the LOS) should be cleaned up and disposed in a timely fashion.

13. Reporting of Elevated Morbidity and Mortality

Elevation in morbidity and/or mortality above expected levels, as defined by the biosecurity plan, should be reported as required in the site-specific biosecurity plan and appropriate actions should be taken to rule out reportable disease agents.