Minimum biosecurity measures


Schedule 1 – Minimum biosecurity measures applying to all keepers

Part 1

Any keeper of poultry (including game birds and pet birds) or other captive birds irrespective of how they are kept, must take appropriate and practicable steps, that can be demonstrated to an inspector on request, to ensure that–

(1) precautions are taken to avoid the transfer of virus contamination between premises, including cleansing and disinfection of equipment, vehicles and footwear. Where there are more than 50 poultry or other captive birds, place foot dip containing Defra-approved poultry disinfectant at strategic points including at the entry and exit of all houses or outdoor areas where birds are kept, and footwear must be cleaned using the dips on entry and exit or alternatively footwear should be changed when moving between bird and non-bird areas;

(2) feed, water and bedding are stored to minimise the risk of virus contamination;

(3) effective vermin control is carried out in any part of the premises where poultry or other captive birds are kept;

(4) the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from the part of the premises where poultry are kept is reduced to only essential movements for looking after their welfare, collecting eggs and feeding;

(5) records are kept (other than in a zoo) of all vehicles that enter any part of the premises where poultry are kept and of all people who come into any direct contact with the poultry.

(6) records of poultry, captive birds and egg movements must be kept and made available to an inspector or veterinary inspector on demand. Records should include:

  • the quantity and description (including species of bird or type of egg) transported or marketed;
  • the date of the movement off the premises;
  • the premises of destination (if known);
  • the name and address of the person to whom ownership or possession is being or has been transferred;

(7) buildings that house the birds are maintained and any defects that allow water ingress or other contamination to enter the building are rectified without undue delay.

Part 2

Outdoor range areas (all outdoor areas where poultry (including game birds and pet birds) or other captive birds have access) must be fenced to keep birds within the range and must be actively managed by the keeper to ensure that–

(1) the range area is not contaminated with feathers or faecal material from wild birds and take all reasonable steps to remove such contamination that may be present;

(2) access to open or permanent standing water is restricted by fencing off and netting ponds, standing water, or waterlogged land to prevent access by poultry or other captive birds;

(3) there is no direct contact with poultry or other captive birds on other neighbouring premises;

(4) ducks and geese should not be kept in the same pen or building as other poultry species;

(5) feed and water are kept indoors and birds are fed indoors or under a covered area which sufficiently discourages the landing of wild birds and thereby prevent contact by wild birds with their feed or water;

(6) measures are in place to ensure that wild birds are not attracted to areas under the control of the keeper, in the vicinity of the outdoor area, in particular to watercourses, reservoirs, ponds or other standing water;

(7) proactive measures (for example, bird scarers, foils, streamers) are taken to discourage wild birds, in particular gulls and wild waterfowl, from entering the fenced outdoor areas;

(8) any carcases of wild birds are removed from the outdoor fenced range area; and

(9) there is regular cleaning and disinfecting of all concrete walkways, paths and similar surfaces to which poultry or other captive birds or wild birds have access.



Schedule 2 –Enhanced biosecurity measures for premises with over 500 poultry

(1) Any keeper of more than 500 poultry must, in addition to the minimum measures set out in Schedule 1, apply the following enhanced biosecurity measures in these separate parts of the poultry premises–

(a) a poultry (live-bird) part (for example, in the Lion code this area is referred to as the ‘Specific’ area; and in Red Tractor as ‘defined biosecure areas’);

(b) a private (ancillary use) part (for example, in the Lion code this area is referred to as the ‘General’ area; and in Red Tractor as ‘defined biosecure areas’); and

(c) a restricted access (bio-secure barrier) part.

(2) The following measures apply to a poultry (live-bird) part of the premises–

(a) access is restricted to essential authorised personnel only;

(b) keepers must operate effective barrier hygiene, including changing clothing and footwear, before entering and on exit from the live-bird part;

(c) only essential equipment and vehicles are permitted to enter the live-bird part;

(d) the exterior of any vehicles, including fork-lifts and pallet trolleys (particularly wheels and wheel arches) and equipment which enter or leave the live-bird part of the premises must be cleansed and disinfected on both entry and exit; and

(e) thorough cleansing and disinfecting (based on industry best practice) of housing and equipment must be undertaken at the end of a production cycle and before new birds are introduced; and

(f) records must be kept of vehicles and personnel entering and leaving the live-bird part.

(3) The following measures apply to a private (ancillary use) part of the premises–

(a) access is limited to essential personnel only, and full biosecurity practices should be adopted on entry and exit to the part of the premises;

(b) this part of the premises should be fully separated from the live-bird part with a clear demarcation;

(c) waste and fallen stock must be held in appropriately biosecure facilities in this part of the premises with clear separation between both the live-bird part and the restricted access bio-secure barrier part; and

(d) the exterior of any vehicles (focussing on wheels and wheel arches) which enters or leaves the part must be cleansed and disinfected on both entry and exit.

(e) egg producers should ensure the packing, handling and storage of second quality eggs / farm seconds is a managed in a biosecure manner. Egg trays must be cleansed and disinfected before use and records maintained as detailed in Schedule 1 (6).

(4) The following measures apply to the restricted access (bio-secure barrier) part of the premises–

(a) access by the public should be controlled and only essential workers or contractors should enter this bio-secure barrier part; and

(b) non-essential vehicles must not enter this bio-secure barrier part.

(c) Keepers must regularly inspect the fabric and structural integrity of any building used to house poultry for holes and leaks, with particular emphasis on roofs, gutters and downpipes. Any holes and leaks must be repaired without undue delay as many recent cases of avian influenza have been linked to water ingress and flooding.