Biosecurity guidelines for bird events in Western Australia

Page last updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2018 - 2:36pm

These biosecurity guidelines for bird events are designed to assist event organisers and participants to manage the risk of disease spread among birds at shows, sales, displays, competitions and races in Western Australia.

What are the biosecurity risks at bird events?

The congregation of birds from different sources at an event provides an opportunity for the spread of infectious diseases.

Infected birds, contaminated equipment, vehicles and personnel can transfer infectious diseases between premises.

Cleaning and disinfection kills many infectious agents. However, disinfectants are less effective or even useless if organic material such as dirt, manure and straw is not cleaned off first.

Correctly carrying out biosecurity procedures will reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases at an event.

Biosecurity principles

  • The person who has regular contact with the birds where they are normally kept is best placed to know if they are healthy.
  • Apply a ‘clean-on and clean-off’ approach.
  • Minimise contact between birds from different sources at the event and avoid sharing equipment.
  • Maintain a record of birds that attend the event, to allow for tracing if required subsequently.

Before the event

The event organiser should:

  • Clarify the biosecurity procedures under which the event will operate, and ensure all participants are advised of these before the event.
  • Appoint an animal health officer who will have authority to call a veterinary surgeon to examine any birds suspected of being seriously ill.
  • Develop a contingency plan to manage the situation if serious infectious disease is suspected and there is a need to hold birds at the location for a period.
  • Be aware that the event organiser has a duty of care to the participants and their birds and has a clear understanding of legal liabilities in the event of a serious disease outbreak.
  • Require all participants in the event to submit a signed declaration as a condition of entry to the event. A suitable format is the sample Bird Event Participation Form (see the documents link on this page).

The declaration

The declaration could form part of the entry form and should include:

  • the identity of each bird and its owner
  • the name and contact details of the person in charge of the bird(s)
  • the address of the property from which the birds will move to the event
  • a statement that each bird brought to the event has not shown any signs of illness during the three days leading up to the event
  • the address of the property to which the bird(s) will be moved after the event, if known.

At the event

The animal health officer should, for each consignment of birds arriving at the event:

  • Ensure that all birds in the consignment are covered by a completed and signed declaration (that is, a declaration from each source property).
  • Retain the declaration for at least 21 days.
  • Investigate all unexpected bird deaths and ill health occurring during the event. Seek veterinary advice where the cause of death is not obvious. Report significant ill-health or mortality to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia.
  • At the end of the event, record the intended destination of all birds. Keep the record for at least 21 days.
  • At the end of the event, ensure that all vehicles, cages and equipment are cleaned appropriately. Dispose of any leftover feed, used floor covering (such as sawdust, straw) or other discarded material in a way that avoids contact with other birds (captive or free-flying).

Responsibilities of owner/person in charge of the birds

The person in charge of the birds(s) should:

  • provide truthful and accurate information as required
  • carry out instructions given by the animal health officer
  • not share equipment between birds from different sources unless it has been thoroughly cleaned
  • minimise any contact between birds from different sources.

On return to the property

The person in charge of the birds(s) should:

  • clean and disinfect all equipment and the transport vehicle
  • if possible, quarantine bird(s) for 21 days
  • continue to monitor the health of the bird(s)
  • notify the event animal health officer of any unexpected deaths in the 21 days after the return from the event.

For more information

For more information, see the National Biosecurity Manual- Exhibition Poultry. You can also view this video, which was produced in partnership by RIRDC, QDAF and exhibition poultry groups around Australia.

Contact information

Emily Glass
+61 (0)8 9368 3360