Biosecurity in the Hatchery: The basics
The hatchery policy should not allow employees to own avian pets due to the risk of disease transmission. Some illnesses, including salmonella, can be transmitted from humans to avian hosts. For this reason, employees should immediately notify a supervisor when ill. Personal hygiene and protective clothing policies are also an important part of a good sanitation and biosecurity program.
Use a questionnaire to screen any visitors to determine biosecurity risks. Include questions about farm contact, avian pets and recent illnesses. Provide and require protective clothing as well as washing and disinfection of exposed skin areas. Vehicles should go through a washing and disinfection area prior to entry of the hatchery property. Any contractor equipment should be cleaned and disinfected prior to entering the facility or left outside the facility.
A rigid pest control program should be strictly followed. Rodent baits and traps should be checked and emptied on a regular basis. A regular fumigation treatment can be used to prevent insect problems. Physical barriers should be put into place including door seals and netting to prevent wild bird roosts.
Security measures should be used to prevent entry onto the property and into the building(s). Keep only one door unlocked and any others locked. Use foot dips at each doorway and empty and clean them on a daily basis. Have hand-washing and hand sanitizers available in each room. Give nonessential visitors limited or basic access to areas in the hatchery.
Keep those who work with eggs and those who work with chicks separated. Prevent personnel who work in dirty areas or areas that come into contact with chicks from accessing clean areas. Using color-coded uniforms can help restrict personnel movement.
In the event of a high-risk biosecurity issue, a standard operating procedure should be in place to contain any infectious materials. Procedures should include methods for containment and decontamination of infectious and potentially infectious materials.