Broiler house litter is a factor in botulism

08-12-2006 | |

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) in the UK has released new guidelines to help farmers protect their stock from botulism, warning that spreading poultry litter can be a factor in disease outbreaks.

Incidence of suspect botulism in the UK has increased substantially since 2003.
Evidence suggests that direct access to litter from broiler houses is a significant factor in most of the recent outbreaks of suspected and confirmed botulism in cattle and sheep. Litter stored or spread on neighbouring farms may also be a factor.
The VLA guidelines for farmers aim to control these risks. Advice includes not using litter on ruminant farms wherever possible and adopting good personal hygiene when moving or spreading litter.
The full guidelines, including advice for poultry keepers, can be found at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website.