Defend the Flock - Toolkit

Defend the Flock - Toolkit

All sectors of the U.S. poultry industry felt the devastating effects of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in December 2014-June 2015.  Animal health officials confirmed more than 200 cases of HPAI in commercial and backyard poultry, as well as wild birds, across the country. This shows how quickly disease can strike and create devastating consequences.

Our commercial poultry industry is one of the largest in the world and an important segment of our agricultural economy.  As a result, protecting the health and safety of our nation’s flocks is a top priority. HPAI, as well as exotic Newcastle Disease, are two highly contagious and infectious poultry diseases, which if found in U.S. poultry, will have severe economic and trade consequences. In addition to these devastating diseases, many others can impact the integrity of our food supply, cause public concern, create financial loss and interrupt international trade.

Strong biosecurity programs that are understood and practiced at all levels of the commercial industry are one of the best ways to protect these flocks against HPAI and other infectious diseases.  USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is dedicated to helping the companies and growers who care for poultry establish and follow best biosecurity practices.

Focusing on the basic biosecurity principles, APHIS developed and launched a new outreach and education campaign “Defend the Flock” to help bring industry and stakeholder awareness to these principles, and help commercial growers apply the practices.

A key element of the campaign is the Partner Toolkit, which will equip you and others with the resources needed to develop and implement strong biosecurity practices.  More information and resources will be added to the toolkit and website over the coming months, so be sure to check back for updates.

Please support these efforts, and our work to defend the U.S. poultry flock, in the following ways:

  1. Share the resources in this toolkit with those you influence in the U.S. poultry industry – state partners, extension agencies, poultry companies and growers.
  2. Provide USDA-APHIS with feedback on the information, so we can continue to develop and improve these resources. 
  3.  Encourage poultry companies and growers to adopt the principles and create their own biosecurity programs implementing the methods and means that work best for their operation.

Biosecurity is a shared responsibility, and together we can work to defend our flock from infectious disease.

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