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poultry disease management agency - ARTICLES
Poultry Disease Management Agency - 01 Sep 2013
The PDMA strives to make national disease management and control a reality to protect the national flock. In order to make this a reality, the PDMA relies on access to information from the producers.
The power of information
In order to make the right decisions that will serve the interest of the poultry producers, it is important to have access to the available information that is housed and owner by the various producers. This information will provide the necessary background and foundation for all the programmes that the agency wishes to establish. It is the knowledge that comes from this information that will build solid programmes. There are many programmes being planned for the industry, some of which have never been available to the producers before.
There are many programmes that are established by the large producers, where a lot of information is collected and this used to improve production and protect the commercial flocks. However, most of the medium to small producers do not have the means to collected similar data or even have access to it. Unfortunately even though this may provide a competitive edge for the large producers, when it comes to diseases, it may also be a dangerous position. Effective disease control is only possible if all producers large and small, have the same understanding of the disease situation and their role in the control of the various diseases. It is true that biosecurity in any production system is as strong as its weakest link. Which means it does not help to have the best systems when the people working there do not understand the importance of maintaining the systems, or if the neighbouring farms or villagers do not observed the same strict programmes.
It has also become clear through the engagement with the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) that there are many gaps in the information that is available in the commercial poultry versus the smallholder poultry. It is also quite evident that there are technical gaps and barriers that exist between the two sectors. The PDMA has been working closely with DAFF to establish system that will allow information sharing while protecting the confidentiality of the sources of the information. The PDMA will become the centre where all the data is collected and aggregated before being sent out to DAFF or the producers.
The programmes that will never be successful without this information sharing avenues are to name but a few:
1. Avian Influenza Surveillance
2. National Residue Monitoring Programme
3. National Microbial Reduction Programme, such as The Salmonella Reduction Programme
4. National Disease Monitoring and Control,
It is quite evident from the short list above that it involves the bulk of the work the PDMA is planning to undertake or has undertaken on behalf of the producers. The PDMA therefore appeals to the producers to work closely with the agency and provide access to the information when requested. It is through these small steps and trust that the efforts towards protecting the national flock will be realised.