Poultry farmers have been encouraged to take action and follow strict biosecurity measures to protect their flocks throughout the winter.
It follows last month’s declaration of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across Britain in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus – which has seen thousands of birds culled throughout the summer and autumn.
Experts say simple steps taken by poultry farmers to improve hygiene on farm and in poultry houses can significantly reduce the spread of avian influenza throughout commercial flocks and across the country.
BASF specialist Anthony O’Hare says poultry farmers should look to increase levels of hygiene in enclosures. Doing so will protect birds from viruses like avian influenza as well as other diseases, he says.
“Disinfectants can reduce the spread of diseases dramatically if used carefully and consistently. A focus on hygiene is one of the simplest and most economical ways to reduce the spread of disease and promote healthy conditions across poultry farms.”
Poultry producers can use Sorgene Xtra at a dilution of 1:250 for general hygiene and at 1:200 in poultry accommodation areas. It can also be used at a rate of 1:100 for foot/wheel dips and vehicle spraying.
It breaks down after use and leaves no residue, so no rinsing is necessary, says Mr O’Hare. All buildings and housing can be re-stocked soon after application, he adds, suggesting the following approach (see panel).
“These simple steps and effective tools will help reduce the spread of viruses like avian influenza to an absolute minimum and prevent farmers suffering substantial financial losses, as well as protect themselves, their friends and family, and their flocks.”