Animal production

Key factors limiting the effectiveness of bio-security programmes

  • the size of the farm (the larger the farm the greater the risk),
  • the lack of quarantine and the health status of the animals purchased for the farm,
  • location in the field (terrain, presence of a protection zone),
  • proximity to other farms (animal density in the area),
  • the location of abattoirs, animal raw material processing plants and animal carcass disposal plants, landfill sites, etc. in the area,
  • communication routes,
  • climatic conditions, including the time of year or conditions causing excessive proliferation of insects.

Other general risk factors:

  • failure to observe the basic hygiene principle of ‘room full – room empty’ technology,
  • contacts of livestock or their owners (keepers) with wild animals and migratory birds (direct or indirect),
  • close proximity to agricultural land irrigated with wastewater and fertilised with slurry,
  • close proximity to parking areas near transit routes (e.g. car parks, airports), as well as holiday homes and other tourist destinations. Bio-security in poultry

In poultry flocks, the requirements for good hygiene practice and bio-security are contained in the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of 27 September 2013 on specific veterinary requirements applicable to poultry and hatching eggs (Journal of Laws 2013, item 1301, as amended).

The recommendations for small-scale poultry producers – rearing on the farm – read as follows:

  • feeding and watering poultry in enclosures that are not accessible to wild birds,
  • keeping poultry in a fenced area, provided that contact with wild birds is prevented,
  • isolation from other poultry, ducks and geese,
  • storing fodder, including green fodder, indoors or under a tight cover preventing contact with wild birds,
  • avoiding watering the birds and cleaning the poultry houses with water from outside the farm (mainly from reservoirs and rivers),
  • report to the veterinarian, the mayor, the mayor, and other local authorities any observed fall in laying rates or sudden increased mortality of poultry,
  • wash hands with soap and water after each contact with poultry or wild birds,
  • the use of protective clothing and footwear when handling poultry,
  • people keeping poultry in the home to avoid being employed in industrial poultry farms.

Recommendations for industrial poultry producers:

  • keeping birds in isolation (mandatory during spring and autumn migration of wild birds) or in a free, fenced area, provided contact with wild birds is limited,
  • feeding and watering poultry in enclosures that are not accessible to wild birds,
  • fodder used for feeding aquatic poultry (ducks and geese), especially during the spring and autumn migration of wild birds, must not originate from areas at high risk of being contaminated with HPAI virus, near water bodies, marshes or other places of refuge for wild birds,
  • covering food and drinking water containers tightly or keeping them indoors, and avoiding watering birds and cleaning the premises with water from outside the farm (mainly from reservoirs and rivers),
  • restricting the movement of bystanders and animals between animal feed and poultry facilities,
  • spreading mats soaked in disinfectant in front of entrances to buildings where poultry are kept,
  • banning vehicles from entering the farm, except for necessary actions, e.g. transport of feed, collection of poultry to the slaughterhouse or by the rendering plant,
  • mandatory disinfection of incoming vehicles,
  • laying out disinfectant mats in front of the farm’s entrance and entrances,
  • the use of protective clothing and footwear when handling poultry,
  • making it compulsory to carry out thorough hand washing and disinfection before entering poultry facilities,
  • no contact of poultry farm workers with other birds e.g. hens, pigeons. Additional recommendations

  • straw that will be used in barn raising should be protected from wild birds (kept indoors, covered, etc.),
  • regularly inspect all connections and pipes (feed silos) for contamination, e.g. with wild bird droppings,
  • eliminate all removable leaks in livestock buildings (place nets in windows and openings, secure ventilation chimneys),
  • artificial bodies of water should not be created on the farm (e.g. ponds) and existing ones should be protected from access by wild birds,
  • do not feed wild birds on the farm,
  • if there are fruit trees on the farm, remove fallen fruit as often as possible.

Due to the threat of avian influenza (AI), which is an extremely infectious and contagious viral disease of poultry, there are also relevant regulations (Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of 4 April 2017 on the ordering of measures related to the occurrence of highly pathogenic avian influenza OJ. 2017. pos. 722) introducing poultry bio-security guidelines. These guidelines include prohibitions on:

  1. watering of poultry and farmed birds with water from reservoirs accessed by wild birds,
  2. the introduction and entry onto a holding where poultry are kept of carcasses of wild birds or carcasses of game birds.

In addition, the legislation mandates:

  1. keeping poultry in a way that limits their contact with wild birds,
  2. notification to the district veterinarian of places where poultry or other birds are kept, with the exception of birds kept permanently in living quarters,
  3. keeping poultry in such a way that they do not have access to water bodies to which wild birds have access,
  4. storing bird feed in such a way as to prevent contact with wild birds and their droppings,
  5. feeding and watering poultry and captive birds in a way that protects the feed and water from wild birds and their droppings,
  6. laying out disinfectant mats in front of the entrances and exits of the poultry housing, in sufficient numbers to ensure that the entrances and exits of these buildings are protected, in the case of poultry sheds where poultry is kept in a non-enclosure system,
  7. the use by persons entering poultry sheds of protective clothing and footwear designed for use only in the shed in question – in the case of poultry sheds where poultry is kept on a free range system,
  8. the application of personal hygiene rules by poultry handlers, including hand washing before entering livestock buildings,
  9. cleaning and disinfecting equipment and tools used for handling poultry before each use,
  10. refraining from poultry handling activities by persons who have participated in game bird hunting within the last 72 hours,
  11. carrying out a daily survey of the poultry flock, including keeping records of, in particular, the number of dead birds, decline in feed intake or laying. Rules to protect pigs from ASF

As a result of ASF outbreaks, our country is very vulnerable to large economic losses in the breeding and rearing of these animals. These losses are caused by pig collapses and the costs of eradicating outbreaks. In addition, ASF generates economic losses for the meat industry. In Poland, bio-security measures are indicated in the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of 6 May 2015 on measures to be taken in connection with the occurrence of African swine fever (Journal of Laws 2015, item 711, as amended). To date, there have been four amendments to this regulation. A number of EU regulations are also in force in our country in this regard. Due to the occurrence of ASF in Poland, areas under various restrictions and orders have been designated: danger area (blue colour on the map), restricted area (red colour), protection area (yellow colour). For individual areas (zones), the recommendations of the veterinary services supervising and eradicating ASF should be strictly followed.

In order to minimise the risk of ASF virus infection in pigs, basic rules should be followed to protect animal housing sites from accidental virus transmission. Main bio-security guidelines to protect herds from ASF

  • not buying pigs that are unmarked and without veterinary certificates,
  • not feeding animals with feed of unknown origin or products (including leftovers, swill) of animal origin,
  • feeding pigs with feed protected from free-ranging animals,
  • lining disinfectant mats adequately in front of:
    • entrances and entrances to and exits from pig farms,
    • the entrances to and exits from the premises where the pigs are kept – and to keep the lined mats in a condition to maintain the effectiveness of the disinfectant at all times,
  • securing the building in which the pigs are kept against access by pets,
  • keeping pigs in buildings where other ungulates are not kept at the same time,
  • observing basic hygiene rules: disinfecting hands and shoes,
  • use of protective clothing and tools left in the livestock building after work, periodic decontamination of protective clothing, equipment and tools for handling pigs,
  • securing livestock buildings, feed stores and litter storage areas against access by wild animals (including rodents),
  • avoiding contact with fallen pigs (or wild boar) – if you come into contact with a fallen pig or wild boar, wash your hands or disinfect with an alcohol-based product as soon as possible and clean and disinfect your footwear,
  • resignation from participation in hunting,
  • not bringing feral pig parts onto farms,
  • preventing members of the public (who do not professionally handle or treat animals on the farm in question) from entering – especially after coming into contact with a fallen pig or feral pig – the livestock buildings on farms where pigs are kept.