A cross-sectional study on biosecurity practices and communication networks of poultry exhibition in Australia

Marta Hernandez-Jover, Kathrin Schemann, Jenny-Ann L.M.L. Toribio

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Most exhibitors (75.0%) attended more than 5 shows per year, travelling longdistances (up to 1000 km) to attend a show. Although most exhibitors would source andsell their birds from and to other exhibitors and at poultry shows, some reported sourcing(15.2%) and selling (25.3%) their birds at live bird markets. In addition, contact with veterinarianswas low (23.1%), with younger exhibitors and women more likely to contact aveterinarian than older exhibitors (P = 0.006) and men (P = 0.017). Other poultry exhibitorswere reported as the most useful source of information, followed by the poultry club, theveterinarian and Internet. Less than a quarter of exhibitors perceived the government agenciesas a useful source of information. Newspapers, newsletters, emails and websites werethe preferred methods of information delivery. However, information seeking behaviourwas found to differ significantly (P < 0.05) among gender and different age groups. Differingbiosecurity, health and communication practices among poultry exhibitors found in thisstudy need to be considered for the development of successful biosecurity extension andcommunication programmes.Poultry exhibitors are perceived to pose a biosecurity risk due to the high frequency ofmovements of birds and the close contact between birds at poultry shows. This crosssectionalstudy assessed the risks posed by poultry exhibitors in Australia using face-to-faceinterviews (n = 46) at eight poultry shows and a postal survey. Univariable and multivariablelogistic regression analyses were used to investigate associations between age, sex,location, number of birds, number of shows attended per year and distance travelled toa show, with biosecurity and communication practices. A total of 357 (29.1%) exhibitorsresponded to the postal survey. Among all participants (n = 403), most had owned poultryfor more than 15 years (71.9%), kept less than 200 birds (83.4%), mainly chicken (96.7%) andwaterfowl (17.8%), and reported not having any commercial poultry operation within 5 kmof their property (85.4%). Despite most exhibitors (90.8%) having at least some knowledge ofbiosecurity principles; some of their practices could pose a risk for disease introduction andspread. Most exhibitors kept their birds with outdoor access (87.0%) and 67.0% of exhibitorsreported contact of wild birds with domestic birds being possible. Only 60% and 40.6% ofexhibitors cleaned transport cages after each use and isolated birds for over two weeks,respectively, with men and exhibitors keeping more birds less likely (P = 0.003) to conductthis practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-509
Number of pages13
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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