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U-M creates online poultry Disease Planning ToolU-M creates online poultry Disease Planning Tool

Tool helps producers prepare responders for potential on-farm visit.

August 2, 2016

3 Min Read

After the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in 2015, the poultry industry recognized that producers and responders needed to be better prepared to make sure it never happens again. In response, several programs have focused on improving biosecurity or adding diagnostic testing capacity in Minnesota.


However, there is still a need to help the individual poultry producer understand the information he or she needs in an emergency. With this in mind, an idea was hatched at the University of Minnesota to create an online poultry producer planning tool. The goal was to create an online platform for poultry producers to help them get the information they need in an easy to access format. The result is a tool that you can access and use at poultrydiseaseplanning.com

The website allows producers to make an individual profile, record and organize information about their premises and find out how to prepare for an emergency, what to expect and how to be involved in a disease response. After creating an account using an e-mail address and personal password, the poultry producer will be guided to answer a series of questions about their farm that will be used to fill in a ‘First Contact Questionnaire.’ This questionnaire organizes the information needed in a disease response by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and helps them react more quickly to a disease emergency like HPAI. The questionnaire will only be available to authorized MBAH response employees through a secure log in system.

A producer will be directed to answer questions about farm location, equipment on site, poultry ownership information, and veterinarian contact information. A producer will be able to request or verify their Minnesota and/or National Premises ID and label key parts of the farm on a map, such as the poultry barns, and including their size specifications, feed storage location, dead bird disposal location, and points of entry, among other things.

Responders will use this map to learn farm layout information before deploying personnel and resources, which will speed up the response which means faster, more efficient clean up and return to business after an outbreak.

The last section of registration asks for daily contacts. These contacts are people or services that come on to the farm in a regular and scheduled manner.

This list of contacts is vital so all the appropriate people can be informed to stay off the farm if there is disease suspected or if there is disease in the area, poultry experts point out. Reducing traffic will help stop disease spread both to and from the farm and the first step is knowing who it is that visits.

After registration, a producer will learn about the six phases of a disease response process. These steps are defined as Alert and Self -Quarantine, Testing, Appraisal and Indemnity, Depopulation, Disposal and Virus Elimination.

Each of these sections of the tool contains the information that a producer will need to know before there is a disease emergency, such as HPAI. Unique functions have been added to aid a producer in preparation and response. For example, to help producers submit the right samples to the diagnostic lab, a universal avian influenza submission form has been created. There is also an interactive disposal calculator that helps to determine space, equipment and material needs for carcass disposal.

The web tool was developed by at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine by Clara Brandt and Carol Cardona, the Pomeroy Chair, with funds from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.

Poultry producers are encouraged to visit the tool at www.poultrydiseaseplanning.com.

Or, they can give the system a trial run without creating an individual profile. Log in with the username [email protected] and password MNpoultry. Keep in mind that many people will be using this test login so do not enter personal information on this test account. Also please do not "request or verify" a premises ID through the test account as this will send an e-mail to MBAH.

Source: Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

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