In Bangladesh, highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 is endemic in poultry. This study aimed to understand the biosecurity conditions and farmers' perception of avian influenza biosecurity in Bangladeshi small commercial chicken farms. During 2011-2012, we conducted observations, in-depth interviews and group discussions with poultry farmers in 16 farms and in-depth interviews with seven local feed vendors from two districts. None of the farms were completely segregated from people, backyard poultry, other animals, households, other poultry farms or large trees. Wild birds and rodents accessed the farms for poultry feed. Farmers usually did not allow the buyers to bring egg trays inside their sheds. Spraying disinfectant in the shed and removing feces were the only regular cleaning and disinfection activities observed. All farmers sold or used untreated feces as fish feed or fertilizer. Farmers were more concerned about Newcastle disease and infectious bursal disease than about avian influenza. Farmers' understanding about biosecurity and avian influenza was influenced by local vendors. While we seldom observed flock segregation, some farmers used measures that involved additional cost or effort to protect their flocks. These farmers could be motivated by interventions to protect their investment from diseases they consider harmful. Future interventions could explore the feasibility and effectiveness of low-cost alternative biosecurity measures.
- Avian influenza
- Small commercial