Campylobacter - Joint Working Group

Enhanced Red Tractor Farm Assurance

Aim: To provide broiler farmers with guidance for implementing the best practices in biosecurity to protect their birds from colonisation with campylobacter.

Project outline

Red Tractor Farm Assurance provides information and guidance on best practice standards for farmers and the standards manual are available to all whether or not they are members of the scheme.

In April 2011 Red Tractor Farm Assurance standards were amended to improve bio-security requirements

Biosecurity standards introduced a designated hygiene area at shed entry which could be as a physical barrier or an area clearly marked off, required a boot change and hand sanitisation at each entry.

Following from the results of research undertaken by SRUC and the industry’s project monitoring effects of biosecurity measures, the Red Tractor Technical Advisory Committee has amended the Standard with the aim of further reducing the risk of introducing campylobacter to a shed via people and equipment. Version 3 of the Standard came into force 1 October 2014 and can be found at the following link.

The Red Tractor requirements in relation to biosecurity on farm to reduce the risk of introducing disease will be:

  • Defined biosecure areas for farm and shed entry and equipment cleaning
  • Foot dips at entry to each biosecure area used by all who enter
  • Disinfection of vehicle wheels and equipment on entry to farm
  • Physical barriers and footwear change at entry to each biosecure area
  • Standard Operating Procedure for catching with reference to biosecurity which includes health & safety, hygiene and bird welfare requirements
  • Staff on all types of units (breeders, broilers, free range) will require a poultry passport – a qualification for their role in poultry production, which includes a biosecurity module

A number of the standards relating to biosecurity have been upgraded to ‘Key’ standards, which means that a farm will immediately be suspended if they do not comply with the requirement.

Auditing will test that equipment for biosecurity is in full working order to ensure biosecurity requirements are in place and that the systems are being adhered to.


Farms assured to the Red Tractor Chicken standards are audited annually. There are approximately 1600 Red Tractor assured farms in the UK.

Annual results of audit of the new Standard will be discussed in detail by the Red Tractor Technical Team, Chicken Technical Advisory Committee, Poultry Board and Standards Committee, which covers all Red Tractor sectors and has identified campylobacter as a key focus area. Results will also be discussed at industry meetings.


Careful application of biosecurity controls will reduce the risk of the transfer of micro-organisms from the environment to the chicken and from flock to flock.

Applying enhanced biosecurity could lower the possibility of bringing birds into direct contact with campylobacter or of infecting the birds with other diseases which may enable campylobacter to colonise and multiply in the chicken gut.

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