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:

Broiler farms

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.

Farm type

Species

Buffer distance (in metres)

New farm

  • Fowls
  • Turkeys
  • Other avian species (for example, ratites and quail)

1000

Units in large farm complex

  • Fowls
  • Turkeys
  • Other avian species (for example, ratites and quail)

200 to 500

Farm complexes

  • Fowls
  • Turkeys
  • Other avian species (for example, ratites and quail)

more than 2000

Breeder farms

  • Fowls
  • Turkeys
  • Other avian species (for example, ratites and quail)

2000 to 5000

Duck or waterfowl farms

  • Duck
  • Waterfowl

5000

Page last updated: 24 Nov 2020