Avian influenza (AI) is an Office International des Epizooties listed disease that has become a disease of great importance both for animal and human health. The increased relevance of AI in animal and human health has highlighted the lack of scientific information on several aspects of the disease, which has hampered the adequate management of some of the recent crises. Millions of animals have died, and there is growing concern over the loss of human lives and over the management of the pandemic potential.
The present article reviews the currently available control methods for notifiable AI infections in poultry. The application of control policies, ranging from stamping out to emergency and prophylactic vaccination, is discussed on the basis of data generated in recent outbreaks and in light of new regulations, also in view of the maintenance of animal welfare.
Poultry veterinarians working for the industry or for the public sector represent the first line of defense against the pandemic threat and for the prevention and control of this infection in poultry and in wild birds.