Summary of Rules for a Poultry Breeding Compartment in Great Britain

Compartments for protection against avian influenza and Newcastle disease in poultry breeding companies in Great Britain

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs May 2012

OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, 2011 edition, Article 4.4.1.
“Compartment means an animal subpopulation contained in one or more establishments under a common biosecurity management system with a distinct health status with respect to specific diseases for which required surveillance, control and biosecurity measures have been applied for the purpose of international trade”

EU Council Directive 2005/94/EC, Article 2. 11.
“’Poultry compartment’ or ‘other captive birds compartment’ means a holding or holdings under a common biosecurity management system containing a poultry or other captive birds sub-population with a distinct health status with respect to avian influenza subjected to appropriate surveillance, control and biosecurity measures”.

Summary of Rules for a Poultry Breeding Compartment

  1. Part 1 General Conditions
    1. These rules comply with the compartment rules of the OIE, as laid down in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (2011 edition), chapters 4.3. and 4.4.
    2. These rules also comply with the EU Commission Regulation 616/2009, laying down conditions for the approval of compartments for poultry with respect to avian influenza. However they add some specific instruction and detail to those rules, and are therefore referred to as the ‘GB Enhanced Standard’
    3. The company applying for approval as a compartment in Great Britain (‘The Company’) must have an administrative headquarters located in Great Britain (GB).
    4. All the flock farm and hatchery premises to be included in the compartment must be located in GB.
    5. All the premises to be included in the compartment must be under the full management control of the Company. The premises must either be under the direct ownership of the Company, or subject to a detailed management contract giving the Company full control of the premises and the staff working there.
    6. At the time of application the Company must provide its own Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) assessment for its operations. The Company must also provide its own detailed biosecurity plan, and an organogram showing the relationship of all the premises for which it is seeking compartment status.
    7. The Company must have been carrying out specific protection and surveillance for avian influenza in each of the premises in the proposed compartment for at least 6 months prior to applying for approval.
    8. Prior to inspection by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), acting as the authorised agent of Defra, the Company must provide its own management protocol documents, as listed in part 2 of this Summary of Rules.
    9. VLA will be responsible for assessing the Company’s management protocols, and for carrying out site inspections of each individual compartment premises. If the result of these assessments and inspections is satisfactory Defra will issue a certificate to the Company confirming that compartment status for the specified premises is approved by Defra.
  2. Part 2 Schedules of Structural and Management Requirements in Approved Premises
    1. The schedules listed below present the minimum structural provisions and management protocol requirements for each subject area. As these subject areas represent the aspects of the company’s operations in which there is the greatest risk of the introduction or spread of AI/ND, they may be considered as critical control points (CCPs).
    2. In accordance with the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (2011), chapters 4.3. and 4.4., management protocols must be drawn up by the company, working in partnership with the State veterinary authority or its authorised agent.
    3. List of Schedules
      1. Location and Physical Features of Compartment Premises Flock Farms | Hatcheries
      2. Personnel Entry to the Biosecure Zone Flock Farms | Hatcheries
      3. Personnel Movements within the Biosecure Zone (Multi Building Approved Premises)*
      4. Vehicle Entry to the Biosecure Zone | Compartment Premises
      5. Entry of Breeding Poultry to the Biosecure Zone*
      6. Entry of Hatching Eggs to Biosecure Zone**
      7. Feed Supply to the Compartment Premises*
      8. Bedding Material Supply to the Compartment Premises*
      9. Miscellaneous Inputs to the Biosecure Zone*
      10. Entry of Packaging Materials and other supplies to Biosecure Zone**
      11. Addition or Removal of Birds (Multi-Age Premises)*
      12. Despatch of Eggs from the Biosecure Zone*
      13. Despatch of Chicks from Approved Hatcheries**
      14. Disposal of Dead Birds and Biological Waste Flock Farms | Hatcheries
      15. Routine Monitoring of Flocks: Laboratory Testing*
      16. Heightened Risk Periods: Additional Precautions Flock Farms | Hatcheries
      17. Monitoring of Production and Mortality*
      18. Monitoring of Hatch Data and Chick Viability**
      19. Disinfection of Bird Sheds*
      20. Disinfection of Re-usable Equipment*
      21. Disinfection of Internal Areas and Fixed Equipment**
      22. Disinfection of Moveable Equipment**
      23. Disinfection of Company Vehicles**
      24. Rodent Control Flock Farms | Hatcheries
      25. Staff Training and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Flock Farms | Hatcheries
      * Flock Farms only ** Hatcheries only
  3. Part 3. Structural and Management Provisions
    VLA, acting as the authorised agent of Defra, will inspect each premises in the application to confirm that each of these items is satisfactorily provided:

    Premises Physical Assessment

    1. The location must not be adjacent to any other commercial poultry enterprise. If within 400 metres, precautions appropriate to the risk assessment must be provided.
    2. The location must not be close to any open water which might attract wild waterfowl. If within 400 metres, precautions appropriate to the risk assessment must be provided.
    3. The location must not be close to any open feed source (zoological garden, landfill site, outdoor pig farm etc) which might attract large numbers of wild birds. There must be no evidence of large gatherings of wild birds on or close to the premises. If within 400 metres, precautions appropriate to the risk assessment must be provided.
    4. There must be a robust biosecurity fence to control personnel and vehicle access to the biosecure zone containing the bird accommodation.
    5. Vehicle and personnel entrances to the biosecure zone must be gated and lockable.
    6. Entry for personnel to the biosecure zone must be possible only through a hygiene barrier where whole-body showering and changing of clothing is obligatory.
    7. The construction materials of the buildings must be robust, moisture proof, and capable of being disinfected.
    8. If there is more than one building within the biosecure zone and they are not linked by enclosed passageways, there must be separate hygiene arrangements at the entrance to each of the buildings.
    9. Each building within the biosecure zone must be furnished with a concrete apron, specifically covering the working entrance and exit of each building, and the walking areas between buildings.

      Staff And Visitors

    10. It must be impossible for any staff or visitor to enter the biosecure zone containing the bird accommodation without passing through a hygiene barrier.
    11. The hygiene barrier must provide for a sequence of removing outside clothing, full body shower, and donning clean indoor clothing and boots provided by the premises.
    12. Records must be kept in a permanent and easily accessible form of all personnel (both staff and visitors) who enter the biosecure zone.
    13. Staff and visitors must sign a declaration that they have not had contact with poultry or hobby or pet birds for at least the last 72 hours prior to entering the biosecure zone.
    14. All staff must undergo basic training in biosecurity principles and HACCP practices.
    15. All staff must be provided with a written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for their area of work.

      Control Of Inputs

    16. Vehicles must enter the biosecure zone only through a gate and decontamination area, which must be clearly demarcated, and they must be allowed to proceed only after a responsible staff member has confirmed satisfactory completion of decontamination.
    17. A full record must be kept in permanent and easily accessible form of every vehicle which is admitted to the biosecure zone.
    18. All birds or eggs admitted to the biosecure zone must either be derived from another GB Enhanced Compartment within the UK, or be subject to isolation, quarantine and testing according to the prescribed protocol, or be subject to a prescribed list of testing and other procedures to ensure that there is no risk that they might transmit the viruses of avian influenza or Newcastle disease.
      Note: the detailed requirements are specified in Schedule 4 of the Hatchery Schedules or Schedule 5 of the Flock Schedules.
    19. There must be full movement records for all birds and eggs taken into the biosecure zone, enabling full traceability regarding source, movement within the premises, and destination.
    20. Feed must be obtained exclusively from the Company’s own mills, and/or from suppliers with which the Company has a detailed, written supply contract.
    21. The conditions for supply of feed must ensure that it is treated to eliminate pathogens, and protected from contamination throughout the manufacture, handling, transport and storage.
    22. At the compartment premises the feed must be stored in enclosed hoppers and delivered to the birds through a protected system which ensures that there are no holes which might provide access for rodents or other pests, and no spillage which might attract birds or other pests.
    23. Water must either be supplied direct from the public mains, or else be subject to regular testing and viricidal treatment.
    24. Ventilation must be provided solely through inlets and outlets which are fitted with screens or other devices designed to prevent wild bird entry.
    25. Bedding Material must be obtained exclusively from suppliers with which the Company has a detailed, written supply contract.
    26. The conditions for supply of bedding material must ensure that it is protected from contamination throughout its production, handling, transport and storage.
    27. All other Inputs to the birds, such as calcium grit, must be subject to the same rules as bedding material with regard to protection from contamination.
    28. Reusable equipment (e.g. egg trays and trolleys) must be disinfected prior to entry to the biosecure zone, and be transported in disinfected Company vehicles, and stored in conditions where they are protected from any risk of contamination.
    29. Any other equipment which must be brought into the biosecure zone (e.g. disposable cartons for transport of day old chicks from hatcheries) must be either new, clean and unused, or else subject to effective disinfection prior to entry.
    30. Reception bays for receiving any delivery must be suitably protected against the accidental ingress of birds or other potential carriers of infection. Whenever the doors are open there must always be a member of staff present.

      Control of Outputs

    31. 31Loading out bays must be suitably protected against the accidental ingress of birds or other potential carriers of infection. Whenever the doors are open there must always be a member of staff present.
    32. 32If the compartment premises is not run on an all-in, all-out basis, there must be suitable precautions to isolate sheds when they are being depopulated, and to ensure that catching teams and vehicles cannot introduce infection (in accordance with the management protocol).
    33. All biological or edible animal waste must be contained in closed containers until it has been incinerated or left the site, to ensure that it does not attract wild birds and other pests.

      Routine Monitoring

    34. Routine monitoring must be carried out either by the national reference laboratory for avian influenza and Newcastle disease (VLA), or else in a laboratory that has been officially accredited for those tests under ISO 17025.
    35. Serological monitoring of laying flocks must be carried out at least once every 4 weeks for avian influenza antibodies.
    36. Flocks must either be vaccinated for Newcastle disease, or else monitored serologically on a similar schedule to that for avian influenza.
    37. Any inconclusive or positive serological results for either disease must immediately be referred to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) for confirmatory testing.
    38. Production and mortality data (or hatch and viability data in hatcheries) must be routinely recorded, and any substantial and unexplained deviations from expected ranges must immediately be reported to the responsible authority in the Company for the appropriate investigation.
    39. All medication administered for whatever cause must be recorded in a permanent and easily accessible form, as required under national legislation.

      General Points

    40. There must be a rodent control programme.
    41. Eggs must be disinfected promptly after collection.
    42. All disinfectants used in the premises must be Defra approved.
    43. The company must have contingency plans in place for increased biosecurity and surveillance in situations of heightened risk, e.g. when the compartment premises falls within a protection or surveillance zone applied under EU legislation.
    44. If avian influenza or Newcastle disease is suspected or confirmed in any approved compartment premises, national legislation controlling notifiable diseases will immediately take effect, and all exports from those premises will be immediately suspended.

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