Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry 2009 Volume 25, Issue 5-6-1, Pages: 373-385
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Strategies to control high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the Belgian poultry sector

Vandendriessche Y., Gellynck X., Saatkamp H., Viaene J.

High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) may pose a major threat for the Belgium poultry sector, as an outbreak of HPAI results in tremendous economic losses. In order to reduce the economic damage for an outbreak, different strategies to control HPAI are evaluated. In a first stage the structure of the Belgium poultry sector is described and risks are analyzed. The actual risks are dependent of the intensive character of poultry farming in Belgium, the large number of transport movements of living poultry, the presence of sensitive nature areas and the border with the Netherlands where the poultry density is even larger. In a second stage the possible intervention strategies are evaluated. Starting from the current regulation, two strategies are worked out: stamping out and emergency vaccination. The success of emergency vaccination is associated with the correct identification of compartments at risk, prompt deployment of emergency vaccines, rapid enforcement of appropriate complementary control measures and also the level of being ready. In a third stage an economic analysis of control strategies for HPAI outbreaks is made. Results suggest that from an economic point of view, stamping-out is at farm level a better option then emergency vaccination within the current context.

Keywords: High pathogenic Avian Influenza, poultry farming, vaccination, stamping-out, economic evaluation

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