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Niagara poultry pilot uses digital biosecurity software to evaluate risk of infectious disease transmission

Guelph, Ontario - A new all-poultry disease pilot and outbreak simulation is putting Ontario biosecurity and disease mitigation measures to the test. Farm Health Guardian and the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) have partnered to conduct a disease simulation in the Niagara Region from January – March 2022.

“Our goal is to develop a better understanding of how poultry disease outbreak investigations and industry communications can be improved to reduce the transmission of poultry diseases,” explains Rob Hannam, CEO of Farm Health Guardian, an animal health and biosecurity management software system. “Using the Farm Health Guardian digital platform to record and analyze movements of vehicles and people on and off their farms, farmers can evaluate their own biosecurity protocols and disease vulnerabilities.”

Poultry farmers participating in the simulation have access to the Farm Health Guardian biosecurity management software to view vehicle and people movement data for their own properties. All of this information is collected in real-time in a confidential database for the purpose of reducing disease spread and sending timely, precise disease alerts.

“We expect to learn a lot by documenting the actual frequency and nature of movement on and off of poultry farms,” says Ingrid DeVisser, FBCC Chairperson. The FBCC includes Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Egg Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission, Turkey Farmers of Ontario, as well as the Ontario Hatcheries Association, Poultry Services Association, Association of Ontario Chicken Processors and feed companies represented through the Ontario Agri Business Association as associate members. “Niagara poultry farmers, and the entire provincial poultry industry, will benefit from the evaluation of the data and results of this pilot. Rapid notifications and targeted alerts can reduce the likelihood and impact of a highly infectious disease outbreak. Participating farmers will gain a better understanding of the biosecurity practices needed to protect their farms and those of their neighbours.”

Hannam says the Niagara Region was strategically selected for the pilot because of the concentration of poultry farms and large number of service providers that are active in the area. “We’ve had great participation from feed companies, catching crews, processors and hatcheries. It’s great to see this because, after all, everyone shares a responsibility to protect our industry and biosecurity is our best defence.” 

Source : CFO

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