The integrated commercial poultry system is a highly connected network in which routine activities keep farms within a geographic area in constant contact. Consequently, biosecurity practices designed to minimize the transmission of infectious diseases between and within farms are an important component of modern flock health programs. A survey of Georgia poultry growers was conducted in order to assess the level of adoption of standard biosecurity measures by farm personnel and visitors. The results showed that compliance with recommended biosecurity practices did not significantly vary by company, farm size, or number of farms owned by the same grower. However, biosecurity was higher in the northern part of the state, where the density of farms is higher, and where there was an ongoing outbreak of infectious laryngotracheitis at the time of the study. The survey found that growers place more emphasis on biosecurity measures targeting farm visitors than those targeting farm personnel. Most growers reported that all visitors to the farm were required to wear shoe covers, although visitors were not typically required to park outside the farm entrance or to wash tires on their vehicles. No visitor type was reportedly excluded from poultry houses during grow out on all farms. The results highlight the need to evaluate the comparative efficacy of specific biosecurity measures in order to set priorities and attain feasible rates of implementation of targeted biosecurity practices.
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Vol. 54 • No. 3