Biosecurity measures needed in developing countries for backyard poultry

More biosecurity measures are needed to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza and other diseases in developing countries for backyard poultry, according to a recent review of national biosecurity guidelines.

Backyard flocks of poultry represent a majority of animal production in some developing countries. Villagers raise poultry locally to meet food demands and provide additional source of income. Methods of backyard production imply low measures of biosecurity and a higher risk of infectious diseases like HPAI, zoonosis and Newcastle disease, BioMedCentral reports.

A team of researchers led by Anne Conan recently reviewed literature on biosecurity practices to prevent infectious diseases. The documents were sourced from PubMed and Google databases as well as from the Food and Agriculture Organization. The team found that while 64 percent of the documents dealt with HPAI/H5N1-related biosecurity measures, only one document dealt with backyard poultry.

Most of the guidelines included recommendations connected to the highest standards of commercial poultry production. Only a few documents provided information about the impact of family poultry settings on biosecurity and none of the documents provided evidence for the effectiveness of biosecurity on backyard poultry.

The authors recommend that developing countries encourage applied research toward finding sustained and adapted biosecurity measures for backyard poultry flocks, BioMedCentral reports.