Survey of professional egg producers and private bird keepers on control measures against avian infl uenza and their effects on animal welfare

Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC3: Congres abstractpeer review


Authorities of many countries, including Belgium, impose control measures such as culling of contaminated fl ocks, indoor confi nement of captive birds or fencing off outdoor ranges with nets to prevent the spread of avian infl uenza (AI) during high-risk periods. The level of protection provided by these measures, however, may be affected by poor compliance due to actual or perceived concerns about their effectiveness, feasibility and consequences on animal welfare. These concerns have led to calls for alternative AI-control measures, e.g. vaccination, reduction of bird stocking density or banning free range systems in high-risk regions. In this study, Flemish professional egg producers (FAR, n=33, 18% of all producers) and private keepers of several species of captive birds (PRI, n=263) were surveyed with an online survey tool (LimeSurvey, on their opinion about current alternatives measures against AI. The participants were recruited via e-mail and by phone (FAR), via social media, and via specifi c organizations of poultry and other birds (PRI). The responses were presented as percentages and were statistical analyzed using a logistic regression model. In general, FAR reported better compliance (69% vs 49%) and greater belief in the effectiveness of indoor confi nement (87% vs 25%) compared with PRI. Although compliance was high (69%), FAR were less positive about the effectiveness (10% vs 73%, P<0.05) and feasibility (10% vs 44%, P<0.05) of covering the outdoor range with nets than PRI. The most adverse animal welfare consequences of confi nement reported by FAR were increased feather pecking (52%), cannibalism (48%), stress and frustration (42%), and poorer condition of the feathers, wattle and body (35%). The same was seen for PRI (stress & frustration, 60%; poorer condition of the feathers, wattle and body, 55%). Of the various alternative control measures against AI, vaccination and banning free-range systems were most preferred among FAR (58% and 45%). Also vaccination was most preferred (62%) by PRI, whereas banning free-range systems and reducing bird density in high- risk regions were less preferred (3% and 14%). Limited compliance by PRI may compromise the effectiveness of current AI control measures in Belgium. Considerable impairments of bird welfare due to indoor confi nement are reported by FAR and by PRI in particular. Given the huge numbers of birds that are culled each year under the current AI control policy, these fi ndings amplify the call for alternative or complementary control measures such as vaccination.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TitelProceedings of the 55th Congress of the ISAE
Aantal pagina’s1
Plaats productieSkopje, Macedonia
UitgeverijMVI Ilgen
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2022


Bekijk de onderzoeksthema's van 'Survey of professional egg producers and private bird keepers on control measures against avian infl uenza and their effects on animal welfare'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Dit citeren