Keeping Flocks Healthy
Vaccination and farm hygiene and biosecurity are the most important strategies that the meat chicken industry adopts to keep flocks healthy. For poultry diseases caused by viruses, they are the only useful strategies. Increasingly, the emphasis in the industry’s flock health program is on prevention rather than treatment.
For some diseases these approaches are insufficient, unavailable or uneconomical (see Coccidiosis and Necrotic Enteritis later) and other methods of control are necessary at this point in time.
Otherwise, only in unusual circumstances where a bacterial disease has flared and all other management strategies have failed will the company veterinarian resort to the use of treatment with therapeutic antibiotics.
In the case of all products that are used, be they vaccines, coccidiostats or other prophylactic or therapeutic medications, only products that have been assessed for their safety and effectiveness and approved for use in chickens by the appropriate regulatory body (the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority) are used. Products are used in accordance with their registered label and any withholding periods are rigorously adhered to.