Skip Navigation

Alabama Bulletin No. AL 210-15-1

Date: August 31, 2015

Subject: ENG – Biosecurity Protocol and Emergency Mortality Burial

Purpose: To transmit the latest biosecurity guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI, also known as the State Veterinarians’ office).

Action Required: Resource Engineer should supply an estimate of supplies to Josh Bruce ASAP; please contact at 334-887-4536.

Expiration Date: September 30, 2015

The following guidance pertains to inspections or visits to poultry farm premises as issued by USDA in 2014-2015 and by ADAI in 2005 and revised in 2013. General information pertaining to catastrophic mortality disposal is also provided.

Due to the ongoing outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), and our strong field office presence in rural areas across the state, it is important to understand how we can all help prevent spread of this disease. USDA employees and partners should take precautions regarding any interactions with all aspects of the poultry industry, especially on farms.

The following NRCS Biosecurity Policy is abbreviated from General Manual Title 130 Part 403:

A.  Animal production protection

(1)  During an outbreak of an infectious animal disease NRCS employees will not enter affected areas except in response to a request from the State veterinarian or other responsible official.  In those situations, the employee will follow the biosecurity measures as required by APHIS, the State veterinarian, and other responsible official.


(2)  At all times, the NRCS employee will adhere to the level of biosecurity applicable to the planned activity, or to more stringent measures that the farmer/rancher or owner/producer has in place.  The selection of level 1, 2, or 3 biosecurity measures will depend on the degree of interaction of NRCS staff with the producer’s office, facilities, or livestock.  To the extent possible, avoid situations that require level 3 biosecurity by conducting visits when livestock are not present.

(3)  During periods of heightened concern, before an identified outbreak, and for the prevention of the spread of infectious animal disease, additional procedures beyond those outlined in levels 2 and 3 below may be implemented if specified by APHIS or the State veterinarian.

(4)  Biosecurity levels

(i)  Level 1.—Visits to farms/ranches that entail office or home visits only, the NRCS employee will:

·        Park the vehicle on hardened area designated for parking, if available.  Park the vehicle away from animal areas and out of any runoff coming from animal areas.  Avoid driving in manure or wastewater runoff.

·        Wash hands with soap and water or an antibacterial gel that is at least 60 percent alcohol before entering and after leaving the premises to avoid transmitting disease agents from person to person.

(ii)  Level 2.—Visits to farms / ranches where minimal contact with animal manure, livestock/poultry, or their housing (barns, pens, hutches, etc.) is unavoidable to attain the goal of the visit, the NRCS employee will:

·        Preplan the needed supplies for daily visits including, but not limited to, boots (rubber or disposable plastic), a large water container/sprayer, a spray bottle for application of a bleach/water mixture or an Environmental Protection Agency- (EPA) approved disinfectant, bleach or disinfectant, a long-handled brush, trash bags, paper towels, liquid antibacterial soap or an antibacterial gel that is at least 60-percent alcohol, and a bucket/pail as needed.

·        Designate a “clean” area in your vehicle to place clean equipment and boots.

·        Designate a “dirty” area in your vehicle for clothing and equipment that has been used on the farm. 

·        Wash hands with soap and water or an antibacterial gel after entering and before leaving the premises to avoid transmitting disease agents from person to person.

·        Put on clean rubber or new plastic boots prior to exiting the vehicle. 

·        Clean dirt and manure from equipment and rubber boots with a brush and water

.  Disinfect the equipment and boots with bleach (1/2 cup bleach to 1 gallon water) or an EPA-approved disinfectant solution.  Mix and apply the disinfectant according to label directions to ensure the proper contact time of the disinfectant with the surface being disinfected.  Dispose of disinfectant solution according to the label.  Do not discard unused disinfectant on the ground.

·        If the vehicle comes into contact with dirt or manure during the farm visit, clean dirt and manure from tires and wheel wells with water and a brush.  If possible, also remove dirt and manure from other parts of the vehicle.  Disinfect the tires and wheel wells with a bleach/water mixture or with an EPA-approved disinfectant solution.  If the vehicle cannot be cleaned in the field, take it to a car wash before visiting another farm/ranch.  Give extra attention to cleaning the undercarriage.

·        Place plastic boots in a plastic bag and leave the bag on the premises for disposal by the owner/producer or place the bag in a designated dirty area of your vehicle.

(iii)  Level 3.—Visits to farms/ranches where there will be close contact with livestock/poultry (walking through narrowly confined pens/lots where animals are within reach or handled in the process of working), the NRCS employee will use level 2 biosecurity plus the following procedures:

·        Preplan the needed supplies and clothing for daily visits including, but not limited to, coveralls (cloth or disposable) and nitrile gloves;

·        Put on a pair of clean coveralls for each visit.

·        Remove coveralls in a manner that they are inside out and place them in a trash bag.

·        Place the clean equipment and boots in the designated clean area of the vehicle.

·        Dispose of all plastic bags that contain dirty supplies in a manner that prevents exposure to other livestock.

·        Launder all cloth coveralls.

·        Shampoo hair and clean under fingernails.

The following is additional guidance to protect the health of the poultry industry:

  1. Visits to farm premises by the public are not authorized unless permission is granted by operator/owner. Visits or inspections by government/agency personnel are authorized to the extent allowed by applicable statutory and/or regulatory authority.
  2. Do not visit or conduct an inspection of a farm in a non-disease/virus or non-vaccination area on the same day after a visit to a farm in any zone where a disease/virus is present, or vaccine is being used. 
  3. Avoid entry into animal production buildings, unless absolutely necessary to ensure NPDES compliance. Follow applicable guidelines above including wearing coveralls and hairnets if you have to enter a poultry house. 
  4. Never walk on to a farm or into a complex without owner present. 
  5. Always follow the owner or company’s biosecurity guidance and requirements. 
  6. Disinfectants approved for use include the following: Household bleach or Clorox, Lysol, Virkon, One-Stroke, Iodine, Tekrol, 904. All others contact ADAI to obtain approval by State Veterinarian.
  7. Disinfectants can be obtained through the following sources:
    1. Fuller Supply, Montgomery, Phone- 334-263-7316
    2. Wynco, Guntersville, Phone- 800-621-0898
    3. All others Authorized by ADAI
  8. Protective footwear, coveralls, and hairnets can be obtained through the following:
    1. Fisher Scientific, Phone- 800-766-7000
    2. Wynco, Guntersville, Phone- 800-627-0898
    3. Other sources Authorized by ADAI


The following guidelines pertain to catastrophic mortality disposal associated with HPAI, as currently in effect.  Any future changes to HPAI disposal procedures as directed by NRCS and ADAI will be issued accordingly.  

  1. Mortality disposal by burial constitutes the primary option for carcass disposal followed by composting (in-house and out-house) in addition to other methods of disposal.
  2. In addition, mortality disposal by burial method dictates that a suitable site shall include at least two feet of soil above groundwater table or impermeable barrier (bedrock) and two feet of ground cover provided to cover mortality.   

For additional information contact Josh Bruce, 334-887-4513.


Acting State Conservationist