FY2016 HPAI Response: Mortality Composting Protocol for Avian Influenza Infected Flocks

Composting is a biological heating process that results in the natural degradation of organic resources (such as poultry carcasses) by microorganisms. Composting has been successfully used throughout the United States for nearly two decades to control outbreaks of low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Composting can be effective with most bird types and poultry house designs.

Microbial activity within a well-constructed compost pile can generate and maintain temperatures sufficient to inactivate the avian influenza virus. The effectiveness of this virus inactivation process can be assessed by evaluating compost temperatures and the shape of the time and temperature curve, visual observation of carcass decomposition, and the homogeneity of the compost mix.

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mortalitycompostingprotocol

Published by gafloryconsulting

Gary Flory is an independent adviser who has consulted, written guidance, conducted research and given presentations to national and international audiences on counter-agroterrorism, emerging infectious diseases, carcass disposal, One Health and foreign animal disease response. Gary was deployed to the Midwest on 5 separate occasions in support of USDA’s efforts to control Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks and was a lead author of USDA’s Mortality Composting Protocol for Avian Influenza Infected Flocks. Gary has written for a number of journals including recent articles on counter-agroterrorism, the weaponization of emerging infectious diseases and biosurveillance for the journal Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Warfare. He frequently shares his expertise at conferences and training events across the country and around the globe including recent events in Azerbaijan and Malaysia. Gary participates in a variety of working groups including the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Agricultural Workgroup; Virginia Poultry Disease Taskforce; Animal Health Quadrilateral Meeting of the Emergency Management Task Group & Disposal, Destruction & Disinfection Network; BioWatch Extended Veterinary Network; and the Virginia Catastrophic Livestock Mortality Taskforce. He was recently awarded the Agency Star award by the Governor of Virginia for his community service and leadership on animal disease response and agroterrorism.

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