Protecting commercial poultry farms
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CTA. 2006. Protecting commercial poultry farms. Rural Radio Resource Pack 06/3. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57289
A commercial poultry farmer explains what he is doing to prevent avian flu entering his farm.
Protecting commercial poultry farms Cue: When avian flu first broke out in Africa, the outbreaks occurred not in backyard birds, but in commercial poultry flocks. For the owners of large poultry farms, the impact of an avian flu outbreak is devastating. Not only are all their birds slaughtered, but often the public loses confidence in poultry products and the whole poultry sector is affected. Keeping commercial poultry farms free of disease, by tight controls and good hygiene practices is therefore essential. In Malawi the government has established three avian flu rapid response teams, for the three regions of the country. It has also run training workshops for those involved in rearing poultry. Mr Jampa Banda, owner of Tiyanjane Poultry farm near Blantyre, has attended several such workshops. He told Patrick Mphaka about what he is now doing to prevent the disease affecting his farm. IN: ?In general, avian flu can be prevented ?? OUT: ??and that will be terrible.? DUR?N: 4?44? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Mr Jampa Banda, a commercial poultry farmer, was telling Patrick Mphaka about the measures that have been taken to protect his farm from the risk of avian flu. The interview comes from a radio resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Banda In general, avian flu can be prevented through general cleanliness starting from the infrastructure itself, that?s the cages, as well as the personal hygiene involving all those individuals working in the poultry farm. Mphaka What changes can I see now if I am to visit and see some of the cages around, see how the chicks are doing? Banda There are several things which have been implemented. One is the change in the strategy in terms of raising the flocks. Initially we used to have a single flock mixed with the other flocks, may be younger ones, but now, we have to sell one lot before we introduce another one. That?s a major change which is obviously affecting our production, since now we are taking much longer to produce one lot of a flock. Again, we have improved the general hygiene around the poultry farm whereby cleanliness is now taken as a priority to make sure that we do not contaminate the flocks. And another measure which has been implemented is making sure that the individuals working in the poultry farm don?t keep any poultry at their homes. Now it is like a serious measure which has to be checked. So it?s a general consensus that each worker who is involved in taking care of the flocks should never keep any poultry at his home. And we are also restricting any passers-by to make sure that they do not contaminate our flock or the farm at large. So it?s like a restricted site, much more serious these days than ever before. Mphaka It must be a big challenge, I suppose, for the workers whom you have because I have seen that as a big poultry farmer, you have some of your workers who stay within the farm itself, they have their houses there, and most of them must have been keeping some poultry themselves. Was there a party where they had to slaughter all their chickens? Banda Not necessarily a party, but it was a general understanding that if we do not implement these measures, then we both lose; I as the farmer, as well as the workers themselves, eventually we were going to end up both losers. Mphaka I suppose it must be very hard to follow such rules when you know that avian flu is just something we hear about, it has not hit Malawi yet. How faithful or committed can people be getting such instructions for something they have not seen? Banda Knowing how dangerous this avian flu can be, then no chances can be spared. As such, each one of us understands that once we are hit, then there will be no escape, that is why we have taken this disease very seriously and we do not want to take any chances. Mphaka When we were coming in here, before entering, you made sure that I removed my shoes outside and then you disinfected me. How can that help, knowing that there are birds all over around and if any one of them is contaminated or infected, they can come right inside your farm? Banda There are some measures by which we make sure that the disease never gets into the farm. Some of them are obviously to make sure that our flocks are always kept enclosed in their cages. And we also keep on checking if at all there are any intruding birds coming in; and those are obviously chased out before they can even have a chance to contaminate our flock. But if at all we see any suspicious bird, maybe being weak, or whatever, we make sure that it is immediately quarantined and a veterinary officer called to make sure that he assists and check whatever is happening. Mphaka Do you believe it will ever come to Malawi, looking at the measures which some of you have taken up and have instituted? Banda It?s a tricky situation. We definitely do not want to take things for granted and we can not cheat ourselves by saying it will never come here. It was introduced in other areas, therefore, it can as well be introduced in Malawi. That is why we are taking every opportunity to prevent it from coming whilst making sure that if possible, even if it comes, but at least my farm should not be affected by making sure that we implement that advice which has been given by the government. If it ever comes, then it can definitely be a disaster because apart from losing the market, obviously the economy will be affected since people will definitely be terrified and they would not buy even those chickens which are not affected, and that will definitely be very bad for everyone, loss of jobs, loss of business, and that will be terrible. End of track.