Aim: To evaluate offering financial incentives to famers for producing flocks free of campylobacter.
The initial trial involved 3 farms that had taken part in the larger biosecurity project.
The farms had good biosecurity systems in place and were experienced at taking samples for testing. 25 sheds were tested over 3 crops during the summer months.
Farmers took boot sock samples at thin and at depopulation when appropriate. These were posted to AFBI for testing by PCR. Financial incentives were awarded to the on-farm team for each shed which tested negative for campylobacter.
The 3 farms had a total of 25 sheds, monitored over 3 crops = 75 sheds. Results expressed as % sheds positive:
Control: 2012 results
58% sheds positive at thin
68% sheds positive at depopulation
Combined: 64% positive
Farmer incentive: 2013
40% sheds positive at thin
71% sheds positive at depopulation
Combined: 57% positive
The number of sheds on the trial was too small to be statistically significant, but the results gave enough confidence for industry to extend the trial to a greater number of farms that previously have not tested for campylobacter and the trial will be conducted over the period of a year.
This will mitigate against the possible effects of the summer peak and will drive improved famer behaviour through knowledge of the outcome of their biosecurity controls.