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AI status and biosecurity

AI status and biosecurity

Over the past two years, Europe has had to deal with the largest Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak ever. Official data cites that between winter 2021 and spring 2022, 2467 outbreaks were detected affecting around 48 million farm animals and more than 3500 virus detections in wild animals.

The worldwide situation is in evolution, but outbreaks are declared in every continent according to the World Organisation of Animal Health (WOAH) website.
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This whole situation has led all stakeholders in the poultry sector to re-consider the strategy to fight this disease and now the two big topics are to wonder if vaccination against this virus has become a necessity where is not present and to build systems for early detection to prevent the spread of this disease.

There are some countries which already put in place a strategy to include vaccination as a tool to control HPAI, such as Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and Dominican Republic, Asian countries like China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Pakistan, but also Egypt and parts of Russia.

The United States and some countries in Europe are in the discussion and recently the EU commission released legislation on vaccination against certain notifiable diseases including HPAI (EU Delegated REGULATION 2023/361).

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But there is another tool that can be used all over the world, could be applied immediately and that can give help not only for the pandemic threat of certain diseases in poultry but also for most of the diseases that we consider “normal” in the different continents…

Let’s talk about BIOSECURITY

Biosecurity is defined, in general terms, as the set of procedures and preventive measures that, if applied constantly, prevent and avoid the spread of infectious agents. Why we consider biosecurity so important:
Why we consider biosecurity so important:

It is the only way to prevent diseases and their spread.
Biosecurity practices can protect humans from zoonotic diseases (diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans).
It is the activity with the highest return of investment (ROI), according to literature.

This measure has great importance now and will also be so in the next future.

To summarize, the major principles of biosecurity are 3.


Remove organic material, clean with proper product and procedure is crucial to reduce the contamination.

The right procedure can be found in this article and using detergent and disinfectant in a proper way can make the difference.


The disinfectant usually has a contact time measured in minutes but usually we spent only few seconds in contact (foot bath). In the case we can switch from liquid product to dry bleach to improve this situation.




The physical separation between dirty and clean area can make the difference.

Using the Danish entry, foot bath and washing the hands can multiply the chances to maintain out from our farm not only AI but also other pathogens (campylobacter, salmonella, mycoplasma, etc…)


The frequent measure failure crossing dirty/clean area are due to difficult to comply the biosecurity protocol.




The ability to maintain high and long-lasting compliance towards the measures described need education, training and trust and is the most complicated part.

The capacity to early detect issues with active surveillance and the rapid spread of information to the right people is crucial to contain the threat.


The key factors for success over time according to experts are: training, continuous feedback and technological innovation.


For those interested in learning more about the different topics, it is possible by following this link to access our article on biosecurity in which the different phases and procedures concerning biosecurity are explained in more detail.
Source: FVE/PVSGEU Webinar on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza preparedness

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