A week-long poultry health course for vets, technical staff and poultry managers is being relaunched after a five-year break.

Designed and taught by specialists at The Pirbright Institute, University of Surrey, and UK industry experts, the course combines hands-on practicals, demonstrations and lectures to give professionals deeper insight into best practices in poultry health.

See also: Apprentices celebrate success at Noble Foods

Industry specialists will lead discussions on enrichment, hatchery practice and field investigations, with practical sessions taking place at the University of Surrey.

The curriculum covers key virological, bacteriological and parasitological poultry diseases.

Professor Ian Brown, who leads the Avian Virology Group at the Institute, will provide insight into the highly contagious Newcastle disease, which affects birds including domestic poultry.

“The course is specifically designed for those who work within the poultry industry and have a basic understanding of poultry health,” said Professor Brown.


“By the end of the week, students will be able to recognise the clinical signs of key poultry diseases, perform a postmortem examination, and outline key diagnostic techniques including real-time PCR to detect viral genome, bacterial culturing, and microscopy.”

Professor Munir Iqbal, Head of Pirbright’s Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease group, will offer expertise on Avian influenza, currently at the centre of several outbreaks in U.S. dairy herds.

“The course provides an opportunity for continued professional development (CPD),” said Professor Iqbal.

Understanding disease

“In addition to recognising and understanding disease, and challenges to vaccination and vaccine failure, it will provide students with the ability to identify necessary biosecurity measures for a poultry farm, perform a field investigation, establish best practices for enrichment, and understand current industry issues including antimicrobial resistance.”

The course runs from Monday 24 to Friday 28 June 2024.

More information is available on the Pirbright website