Biosecurity for poultry producers
Farm biosecurity refers to those measures taken to prevent or control the introduction and spread of disease and pests to a property. If a new disease or pest becomes established on your farm, it will affect your flock through reduced flock health, increased costs, reduced productivity or loss of markets.
Biosecurity is about managing risk and includes:
- preventing the introduction of diseases and pests
- preventing the spread of disease and pests from an infected area to an uninfected area
- minimising the incidence and spread of microorganisms of public health and food safety significance.
It is essential that a risk assessment be conducted for each enterprise to establish what level of risk exists in each phase of its operations and to identify and implement control measures appropriate to these levels of risk.
Biosecurity is a shared responsibility between government and industry. Individual farms should tailor biosecurity programs to suit their individual needs, with help from their veterinarian.
Government and industry groups have resources available to help poultry owners to develop biosecurity plans. The available resources include:
- National Farm Biosecurity Manual – Poultry Production
- National Farm Biosecurity Technical Manual for Egg Production
- National Farm Biosecurity Manual for Chicken Growers
- National Biosecurity Manual for the Duck Industry
- National Biosecurity Manual – Exhibition Poultry
- National Water Biosecurity Manual – Poultry Production
To meet the biosecurity standard (EI S4) in the Victorian Code for Broiler Farms 2009 (plus 2018 amendments) the nearest external edge of new or existing broiler sheds is / are set back from sheds on other poultry farms by the distance specified in Table 1 below.
Table 1: Guide to biosecurity buffer distances
Measure your buffer distance from either:
- the nearest shed walls for older type shedding
- the centroid of the mechanical ventilation system of the newer tunnel ventilation sheds.
Buffer distance (in metres)
Units in large farm complex
200 to 500
more than 2000
2000 to 5000
Duck or waterfowl farms