Assessing Biosecurity with Biocheck

 

Biosecurity measures help to prevent the entry and spread of infectious diseases on farms. Good biosecurity can help improve animal health and productivity and prevent costly disease outbreaks on farms. As such, biosecurity is the basis for disease prevention on farms. Still it can be a matter of subjective judgement whether measures taken are sufficient or need extra effort. In the past, this subjective evaluation also made it hard for setting concrete targets and monitoring improvement in biosecurity measures. Luckily, this problem has been solved with the arrival of Biocheck, an objective and risk based scoring system to assess biosecurity on pig, broiler, layer, veal, dairy and beef farms. The systems is based on cutting edge scientific research and developed by the faculty of veterinary medicine of Ghent University.

This biosecurity scoring system takes into account the 5 general principles of biosecurity:

  1.  Separation of infected and susceptible animals by avoiding any direct and indirect contact between them
    This means taking adequate and consistent measures to prevent transferring pathogens from infected animals to healthy susceptible ones
    Think of installing a good quarantine protocol before entering purchased animals to your herd, optimize working lines and changing clothwear and shoeing and other measures to compartmentalize groups of animals on the farm.
  2. Not every transmission route of pathogens is equally important. 
    The biocheck scoring system takes into account a gradation in importance of different pathways animal can become infected with pathogens. For example, measures that prevent direct contact between susceptible and infectious animals are much more important than measures that prevent potential transmission of pathogens through animal feed or breath of persons in the stable.  Questions in the Biocheck, referring to these different transmission pathways have been attributed proper weights for the final score based on scientific research.
  3. Reduction of the general infection pressure
    Sterile production facilities are impossible to achieve, luckily however, animals’ immune system can cope with some degree of infection pressure. Biosecurity measures therefore should target to achieve a general reduced burden on the animals natural defence systems to let them thrive. Measures to think of are: thorough cleaning and disinfection of facilities and adequate down time of stables or vaccination.
  4. Size matters
    With increasing farm size, risks for disease entering the farm increase as well as the detrimental effects of a disease outbreak. It does not mean that small farms should not pay attention to biosecurity, but the negative impact on large farms will just be bigger.
  5. Frequency matters
    Related to the previous principle, an event with a rather small chance of transmitting disease into your farm or between the animals on the farm can cumulate into a considerable risk if the event gets repeated often enough. For example the chance that a single external visitor or a sigle feed delivery truck is the transmitter of disease might be small but if your farm receives external visitors or feed on a weekly basis this chance can cumulate into a considerable risk for disease entering your farm. Therefore, Biocheck will assess measures to prevent for examples visitors or feed trucks to infect your animals and will take into account the frequency of these events.

Advantages of Biocheck

 

  1. Biocheck assesses the farm’s biosecurity in general and not only for one specific disease.
  2. Your farm gets an overall score for its biosecurity level as well as more detailed score for both external and internal biosecurity. Moreover more detailed scores for the aspects that make up the score for internal and external biosecurity are presented as well. Within a blink of an eye you can identify the aspects of the farm that can be improved for better biosecurity.
  3. The basic version: scoring list and links to additional info on biosecurity is free of charge.
  4. It is ideal for benchmarking. The Biocheck score sheet provides a comparison for your farm with those of colleague farmers in your country and worldwide. Moreover, under the expert license (not for free) you have additional options to design your own benchmark, visualize progress over time and access e-learnings to improve biosecurity further.
  5. It is available for  all pig farms: farrowing, farrow-to-finish or finishing pig farms, poultry farms: broilers and layers, dairy and beef and veal farms.

How to use Biocheck

The use of biocheck was explained by prof. Jeroen Dewulf in the webinar: Principles of Biosecurity and use of Biocheck
From minutes 10:55 onwards the use of Biocheck is being explained.

To use the free version of Biocheck go to: www.biocheck.ugent.be 

In the right top corner you can set the language to English, Dutch, French, Spanish or Chinese.

It is advisory to register your profile by clicking on the My Biocheck button. This way you will be able to save all your reports and look them up later.

Detailed instructions for the website can be found with button instructions in the right lower corner.

To start the assessment click on “Start the Biocheck.ugent”

Pick your the survey for the type of farm you want to evaluate.

It is advisory to print a printable version of the survey and take it with you along a tour over the farm.
The routines you will follow to enter the farm, (registration, change of clothes and shoeing, showering, walking lines, etc. will already provide you with answers to several questions in the survey.

After the farm tour you can take the paper survey to your office and complete the survey online to obtain the scoring sheet.


minutes 10:55 in webinar

Go to www.biocheck.ugent.be

 

Vaccination for the control and eradication of disease

Check out this video about vaccination protocols for the control and eradication of disease.

38- A WUR SNP is associated with European Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Virus Syndrome (Research paper – Abellaa – 2016)

 

 

38 Research paper – Abellaa – 2016 – A WUR SNP is associated with European Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Virus Syndrome

38 Research paper
A WUR SNP is associated with European Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Virus Syndrome resistance and growth performance in pigs
by Abellaa, G, Penaa, R.N., Nogaredaa, C., Armengola, R, Vidalc, A., Moradellc, L., Tarancond, V., Novelld, E., Estanya, J., and L. Frailea
2016 Research in Veterinary Science 104: 117-122
In Significant Impact Groups: Breeding for disease resistance or robustness \
Species targeted: Pigs;
Age: Young; Adult;
Summary:
A Spanish study investigated the variation in Average Daily Gain (ADG) between pigs vaccinated with a local Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) strain and pigs infected with a wild-type virus. Pigs from negative PRRSV farms were infected with a wild-type virus or vaccinated with a local PRRSV strain. The amount of virus shed from the pigs, ADG and their genotype (i.e. ‘WUR’ at a specific protein gene) was assessed. Results showed individual variation in the amount of virus from pigs challenged with a wild-type or a vaccine strain. The presence of the gene trait, WUR, was linked to positive ADG in vaccinated pigs. However, the reverse happened in a virus-free environment where pigs without this gene trait were those that grew fastest. There’s scope for selecting pigs according to their responses to PRRS virus infection – the WUR gene trait may play a role in PRRSV resistance.
38 Research paper – Abellaa – 2016 – A WUR SNP is associated with European Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Virus Syndrome
Where to find the original material: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0034528815301156; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2015.12.014
Country: ES

518 Starting of Label Rouge broiler production: preserving the welfare and the performances of animals (Research report; Pertusa et al., 2020)

 

 

518 Research report PERTUSA M PATANCHON H CORRE T ROUSSET N PAUL M 2020 Starting of Label Rouge broiler

518 Research report
Starting of Label Rouge broiler production: preserving the welfare and the performances of animals
by PERTUSA M., PATANCHON H,, CORRE T., ROUSSET N., PAUL M. 2020 TEMA Avril-Mai-Juin 2020: 07-Jan
In Significant Impact Groups: Housing and welfare
Species targeted: Poultry;
Age: Young;

Summary: Starting of Label Rouge broiler production: preserving the welfare and the performances of animals. The first days of life of the chicks are crucial and require special attention from the breeder. A good start is important for the further development of the animal and influences the success of the batch in breeding. For this reason, it seems important to sensitize the technical teams and the breeders to the management of the early period and to provide keys to better understand and control this phase. Following the start-up monitoring carried out in 45 Label Rouge broiler farms in the region Nouvelle Aquitaine (France); two major levers appeared to be significant in the success of this first period of the animal’s life:- Early feeding and watering, as soon as the chicks arrive in the building.- Good quality, dry and healthy bedding throughout the start-up period, implying controlled management of preheating, temperature and hygrometry as well as good air renewal in the building.

518 Research report – PERTUSA M., PATANCHON H,, CORRE T., ROUSSET N., PAUL M. – 2020 – Starting of Label Rouge broiler production: preserving the welfare and the performances of animals
https://www.itavi.asso.fr/content/le-demarrage-en-production-de-poulets-de-chair-label-rouge;

Country: FR

517 The participatory support approach applied to biosecurity in poultry farming : Teaching of an “initial diagnosis” step (Research report; Rousset, et al. 2020)

 

 

517 Research report – ROUSSET N., SCOIZEC A., CADET M., KOULETE E., LE BOUQUIN S., BOUDET S., KLING-EVEILLARD F. – 2020 – The participatory support approach applied to biosecurity in poult

517 Research report
The participatory support approach applied to biosecurity in poultry farming :Teaching of an “initial diagnosis” step
by ROUSSET N., SCOIZEC A., CADET M., KOULETE E., LE BOUQUIN S., BOUDET S., KLING-EVEILLARD F. 2020 TEMA Janvier-Février-Mars 2020: 19-28
In Significant Impact Groups: Biosecurity
Species targeted: Poultry;
Summary: The participatory support approach applied to biosecurity in poultry farming :Teaching of an “initial diagnosis” stepA reinforcement of legislation occurred recently to allow an overall increase in the sanitary control of the French poultry sector.The poultry keepers have to apply strictly biosecurity measures, but difficulties in compliance persist. Now, the prescriptive and/or regulatory approach seems to have certain limitations. The project PartAge aims to test an alternative approach using participatory methods. This project is articulated in three phases: “initial diagnosis”, “progression”, “assessment”. Each phase is composed of two steps: qualitative individual interviews and a participatory meeting. The results of the interviews in the first step, indicate that most of farmers perceive biosecurity measures as a professional standard, although the term “biosecurity” may have negative connotations for some. Nevertheless, some farmers tends do relativize the effectiveness of certain kind of measures. The participatory meetings seem interesting to mobilize in order to remove certain technical and practical obstacles,or to change negative attitudes, by promoting the transfer of knowledge s , the sharing of experience and opinions between peers or with other actors in the sector. An overall qualitative evaluation of the impact of this approach will be conducted at the end of the project.
517 Research report – ROUSSET N., SCOIZEC A., CADET M., KOULETE E., LE BOUQUIN S., BOUDET S., KLING-EVEILLARD F. – 2020 – The participatory support approach applied to biosecurity in poultry farming :Teaching of an “initial diagnosis” step
https://www.itavi.asso.fr/content/la-demarche-daccompagnement-participative-appliquee-la-biosecurite-en-aviculture;

Country: FR

515 PULSE by ITAVI (Farm Innovation)

 

 

515 Farm Innovation – PULSE by ITAVI

515 Farm Innovation
PULSE by ITAVI
In Significant Impact Groups: Biosecurity
Species targeted: Poultry;
Summary: Audit tool based on Excel, in French, to assess the biosecurity status of free-range broiler farms in 30 mn. Update from the previous version. You can download on the website two other versions of the tool : 1 for rearing duck farms and 1 for fattening ducks farms.
515 Farm Innovation – PULSE by ITAVI
https://www.itavi.asso.fr/content/jevalue-la-biosecurite-sur-mon-exploitation-de-volailles-plein-air;

Country: FR

514 PULSE by ITAVI (Farm Innovation)

 

 

514 Farm Innovation – PULSE by ITAVI

514 Farm Innovation
PULSE by ITAVI
In Significant Impact Groups: Biosecurity
Species targeted: Poultry;
Summary: Audit tool based on Excel, in French, to asses Biosecurity level of fattening ducks farms in 30 mn.Upated from previous version. You can dowload on the website 2 other versions of the tool : 1 for rearing ducks farms and 1 for free-range broiler farms.
514 Farm Innovation – PULSE by ITAVI
https://www.itavi.asso.fr/content/jevalue-la-biosecurite-sur-mon-exploitation-en-elevage-de-palmipedes-engraissement;

Country: FR

512 PULSE by ITAVI (Farm Innovation)

 

 

512 Farm Innovation – PULSE by ITAVI

512 Farm Innovation
PULSE by ITAVI
In Significant Impact Groups: Biosecurity
Species targeted: Poultry;
Age: Not stated;
Summary:
Audit tool based on Excel, in French, to assess biosecurity in duck farms (rearing farm) in 30 mn. Update of previous version. You can find on the website also 2 other versions : 1 for free-range broilers farms and 1 for fattening duck farms.
Where to find the original material: https://www.itavi.asso.fr/content/jevalue-la-biosecurite-sur-mon-exploitation-en-elevage-de-palmipedes-elevage;
Country: FR

 

497 – Preconditioning systems a solution to decrease respiratory diseases in young bulls fattening units (Research paper – Vanbergue – 2020)

 

 

497 Research paper – Vanbergue – 2020 – Preconditioning systems a solution to decrease respiratory diseases in young bulls fattening

497 Research paper
Preconditioning systems: a solution to decrease respiratory diseases in young bulls fattening units? by Vanbergue, E., Assie, S., Mounaix, B., Guiadeur, M., Aupiais, A., Cebron, N., Meyer, G., Philibert, A., Maillard, R. and G. Foucras 2020 Rencontres Recherches Ruminants : 25°
In Significant Impact Groups: Pathogen management \ Vaccination, Feed / gut health
Species targeted: Beef;
Age: Young;
Summary:
Preconditioning of young bulls is implemented to prevent bovine respiratory diseases occurence in fattening units. A control/case study was set up in nine cow-calf operations and four fattening units to compare preconditioned and control cattle in a French context. Preconditioning protocol consisted of weaning calves 50 days before sale, with adaptation to solid feedstuff and housing. A trivalent vaccine protocol (BRSV, BPI3, Mannheimia haemolytica) and vitamins and micronutrients supplementation was also implemented in order to improve immunity to respiratory diseases. Contrary to what was expected, diseases incidence and lung lesion score were higher for preconditioned young bulls compared to controls. These results could be explained by the epidemiology context of fattening units, poor housing conditions in cow-calf herds and individual immune competence, in relation to immune status and previous vaccination. Pathogens detected in fattening units (BCoV, Pasteurella multocida…) were essentially different from the vaccine valences. This study identifies critical parameters for the settlement of preconditioning programs, and highlights the necessary adaptation to local conditions and husbandry factors.
Where to find the original material: http://www.journees3r.fr/spip.php?article4725
Country: FR

494 – What are the needs for education and professional training of livestock farmers and their advisors for an integrated management of health (Research paper – Manoli – 2020)

494 Research paper – Manoli – 2020 – What are the needs for education and professional training of livestock farmers and their advisors for an integrated management of health

494 Research paper
What are the needs for education and professional training of livestock farmers and their advisors for an integrated management of health? by Manoli, C., Martin, G., Defois, J., Morin, A. and P. Roussel 2020 Rencontres Recherches Ruminants 2020: Session Santé
In Significant Impact Groups: Other \ Biosecurity
Species targeted: Dairy; Pigs;
Age: Not stated;
Summary:
Agro-ecological transition of livestock farming systems requires strong changes in animal health management, toward more preventive approaches of livestock practices, e.g. feeding management, and less use of medical inputs for animal. These systemic changes concern farm managers but also their advisors and teachers. In this study, surveys have been made to study the particular needs of farmers and their advisors for education, both professional and academic. These surveys were realised with advisors and farmers of different educational backgrounds, from pork and dairy sector. Results of these surveys show a very small contribution of initial and academic education for useful knowledge on health management , expressed by farmers and advisors ; they also show strong needs addressed toward professional training, that should combine peer exchanges of practises, practical exercises and specialized knowledge coming from animal health experts.

Where to find the original material: http://www.journees3r.fr/IMG/pdf/recueil_202011_sante.pdf (p.515 ff).
Country: FR