Animal health

Developing practical biosecurity interventions for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the United Kingdom – the need for collaboration

This webinar was held as part of the Progressive Management Pathway for Terrestrial Animal Biosecurity (PMP-TAB) Community of Practice monthly series. It showcases the approach taken to successfully develop practical and cost-effective biosecurity interventions in response to the unusual series of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks in wild birds and kept poultry in the United Kingdom from 2020 onwards.

The risk pathways that contributed to the HPAI outbreaks were identified and described, and their relative importance assessed. To achieve this, it was necessary to understand the patterns of infection in the wild bird populations. This information was combined with a detailed understanding of the management practices as well as the economic and human drivers of behaviour seen in the businesses. The full range of commercial production systems and small-holder flocks involved in the production of poultry meat, eggs and breeding stock were considered. 

Crucially, to achieve this understanding requires collaboration through the development of mutual trust and openness between government and the commercial sector. Through this partnership, the biosecurity interventions, customized for different production systems, were successfully developed.

Presenter: Andy Paterson, Head of Intervention Epidemiology and Head of the National Emergency Epidemiology Group, Animal and Plant Health Agency, United Kingdom.