The International Egg Commission (IEC) has launched a new paper examining the considerations and essential components required for HPAI vaccination and surveillance in layer hens.

Developed by the IEC’s Avian Influenza Global Expert Group, the paper explains the advantages of vaccination against the disease and ways to overcome potential barriers to vaccination.

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The paper defines the essential components of an effective HPAI vaccination programme.

It also explores how to conduct appropriate surveillance for infection within vaccinated flocks to allow for continued trade of poultry and poultry products as stipulated by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

Ben Dellaert, chair of the group, said: “The potential for vaccination to play a role in HPAI prevention and emergency management in layer hens has been discussed widely in recent months, as the global poultry industry continues to face unprecedented levels of avian influenza.

Additional tool

“The development of this new paper will support countries considering vaccination as an additional tool for prevention and emergency management of HPAI in layer hens, to establish and implement a successful vaccination and surveillance strategy.”

“Alongside robust biosecurity, vaccination can be an important additional tool for preventing and managing HPAI.

The ‘High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in Layers: Considerations and Essential Components for Vaccination and Surveillance’ is available at the IEC’s website.