At a time when the food industry is struggling to manage the devastating effects of the coronavirus, the recent outbreak of avian flu in South Carolina was a stark reminder that the threats to our food supply come in many forms.
Confirmation of the highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock last month was the first confirmed case in a poultry flock since 2017, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
More than 30,000 birds were killed in an effort to contain the outbreak.
It was troubling news, on the heels of reports that 100 USDA inspectors tested positive for COVID-19 while meat processing plants around the country were dealing with 4,913 cases and 20 COVID-19 deaths.
But it was also a reminder of the need to stay vigilant around all forms of disruption to the food supply chain. Bird management practices are a key component.
Keep Food Production Safe with Bird Control
The USDA recommends that commercial poultry producers continue to implement careful biosecurity practices to prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. Sick birds should be reported to the USDA.
And while the avian flu outbreak and the COVID-19 threat have added to our challenges, keeping food safe is a year-round concern for food producers, whether they are raising poultry or processing fruits, meats, vegetables, grains or dairy products. All food producers must guard against the health risks related to bird intrusion and bird-transmitted disease.
Although shutdowns play an important role in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, wild birds looking for a place to roost can take advantage, flocking to empty facilities looking for food, water and a quiet place to build a nest. Nuisance birds can also find a way in though empty vents or open garage doors. Wild birds can deposit droppings on food located outside on a loading dock or storage area.
The Link Between Food Safety and Professional Bird Deterrence
These are daunting times for those with the responsibility for keeping various links in the food supply chain open, and safe. Professional bird services can be an important part of the effort, providing businesses with the vigilance and expertise to safeguard public health from an opportunistic threat.
The experts at Wild Goose Chase Inc. can provide site specific assessments and recommendations for eliminating conditions that may be inviting to nuisance birds. Our consulting team includes wildlife and environmental biologists and construction specialists who develop management and deterrent strategies for all types of bird issues.
Our efforts on behalf of clients in the food industry are a key link in the effort to protect the safety of the food supply, with solutions customized by species, by location and by season. That’s the advantage of using a biologist-led team of bird experts. We have a wide variety of humane, effective and cost-effective strategies for eliminating unhealthy bird conflicts.
To learn more about safe, humane and effective strategies for protecting the health and safety of your business from bird-borne disease and other hazards, give us a call or click on the link below.