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NC State Extension


Defend the Flock

USDA Defend the Flock biosecurity graphic

from the press release
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has expanded its Defend the Flock program to educate all poultry growers about best practices in biosecurity.

This comprehensive public education program provides new resources to ensure that all growers have the information they need to keep flocks safe from infectious diseases.

APHIS is introducing the expanded program to combat the increasing risk of serious disease outbreaks. Biosecurity, which encompasses structural and operating practices to block diseases and the pathogens that carry them, has proven to be the most effective way to protect the nation’s poultry, property, and people.

The Defend the Flock program includes checklists, videos, and other resources that reflect the knowledge, insights and experience of USDA, veterinarians, poultry owners, growers, scientists and other experts. All Defend the Flock materials are available at no charge 24/7 at the Defend the Flock Resource Center. For more information on the program, visit Defend the Flock.

Defend the Flock biosecurity checklist

USDA APHIS provides a checklist for proper cleaning and disinfecting poultry enclosures.

red button with white Download the Checklist text

Defend the Flock on social media

Follow Defend the Flock on Facebook and Twitter for practical tips about keeping poultry healthy and new additions to the Resource Center.

Foreign animal diseases

Highly pathogenic avian influenza and virulent Newcastle disease are both foreign animal diseases (FAD). This means that these viruses are not present in United States poultry and when encountered eradication is the goal of efforts to contain the disease.

Clinical signs for these viral infections can be identical so laboratory diagnosis is needed to confirm infection due to either virus.

Clinical signs for these two viruses may include

  • respiratory signs with secretions from the eyes, nares and mouth.
  • Birds may have diarrhea and/or be unable to stand.

These viruses can cause high mortality in infected flocks.

If you see clinical signs in your birds that resemble those associated with HPAI or VND call the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at: 919.707.3250 to report this as a potential foreign animal disease and wait for help with diagnosis and further instructions.

Manual from NC State Extension

You can download the Poultry Farm Biosecurity Field Manual / Manual de campo para la bioseguridad de granjas avícolas manual to help with your biosecurity planning.

The manual is presented in English and Spanish.

Faculty experts (media)

Dr. James S. Guy – Professor of Poultry Health Management (CVM).
Dr. Matthew D. Koci – Professor — Immunology, Virology and Host-Pathogen Interactions (CALS).
Dr. Edgar Oviedo – Professor — Broiler Nutrition and Management (CALS).