Risk management decisions associated with live poultry movement during a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak should be carefully considered. Live turkey movements may pose a risk for disease spread. On the other hand, interruptions in scheduled movements can disrupt business continuity. The Secure Turkey Supply (STS) Plan was developed through an industry-government-academic collaboration to address business continuity concerns that might arise during a HPAI outbreak. STS stakeholders proposed outbreak response measure options that were evaluated through risk assessment. The developed approach relies on 1) diagnostic testing of two pooled samples of swabs taken from dead turkeys immediately before movement via the influenza A matrix gene real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test; 2) enhanced biosecurity measures in combination with a premovement isolation period (PMIP), restricting movement onto the premises for a few days before movement to slaughter; and 3) incorporation of a distance factor from known infected flocks such that exposure via local area spread is unlikely. Daily exposure likelihood estimates from spatial kernels from past HPAI outbreaks were coupled with simulation models of disease spread and active surveillance to evaluate active surveillance protocol options that differ with respect to the number of swabs per pooled sample and the timing of the tests in relation to movement. Simulation model results indicate that active surveillance testing, in combination with strict biosecurity, substantially increased HPAI virus detection probability. When distance from a known infected flock was considered, the overall combined likelihood of moving an infected, undetected turkey flock to slaughter was predicted to be lower at 3 and 5 km. The analysis of different active surveillance protocol options is designed to incorporate flexibility into HPAI emergency response plans.
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Vol. 60 • No. 1s