BIOSECURITY (DEFINITION): This covers all measures taken to reduce the risk of avian flu viruses entering, developing or spreading in the environment. These measures are deployed at the operational level, but are also applied to all animals, establishments, modes of transport or objects capable of disseminating the virus.
The Mousset Group, which transports 90% of all ducks used in the production of foie gras, has an obligation to support its clients when it comes to meeting quality and security compliance. In order to meet points 3 and 4 of the French government’s pact to tackle avian flu and revive the foie gras sector, signed by the Ministry for Agriculture on 14th April 2017, the company immediately devised a plan for investment, research and innovation.
- To improve disease detection and collective responses to a crisis
- To secure the production link
- To secure the transport link
- To ensure that all stakeholders implement the relevant biosecurity regulations
- To take action at a European and international level
- To introduce an economic support system to deal with the consequences of HPAI*
*Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
1 – DISINFECTION
All vehicles are now equipped with a UNIQUE ONBOARD DISINFECTION SYSTEM:
- Vehicles are disinfected from a control panel inside the cabin
- Disinfectant products are sprayed evenly on the vehicle’s wheels and chassis
- Vehicles are disinfected each time they enter or exit a production area (this is much easier for drivers: no need to get out of the cabin or put on protective equipment)
- Drivers are not exposed to chemical products
2 – PROTECTION
Since January 2017, all of our vehicles have been equipped with covers made from a flexible mesh material, helping to cut down on bird droppings and feathers escaping onto the road.
These covers ensure that trailers are fully ventilated, improving the conditions of the animals being transported.
3 – CLEANING
All cleaning processes have been designed in accordance with the HACCP method, with regular checks carried out on both vehicles and cleaning equipment and detailed feedback supplied.
Within operating sites, the course taken by vehicles has been revised in the interests of optimum biosecurity, with dirty areas, clean areas and parking areas being clearly demarcated. The driving direction within these areas will always respect forward progress, moving from dirty areas to clean areas. The goal: to prevent cross-contamination within cleaning areas.
In May 2019, the Mousset Group opened the La Mogie station in La Vendée, the very first biosecurity station in France. An equivalent station will soon be operational at the Mousset site in Mugron in Les Landes. In the medium term, the Mousset Group will have 5 biosecurity stations across the country.
DESIGN LINKED TO INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Our biosecurity stations are equipped with the latest technology, developed specifically for the transportation of live poultry.
This helps optimise the way in which vehicles are cleaned, both in terms of quantity and in terms of quality. Despite the increased transition rate and the higher intensity cleaning that is carried out, cleaning is 3 times quicker than manual cleaning, with rolling cage carts now cleaned mechanically using water heated to 70°C: the temperature at which germs, viruses and bacteria start to die off.
This process limits the need for antibacterial and virucide detergents. All cleaning water is recycled: the water used to rinse outgoing rolling cage carts is used for the initial cleaning of incoming rolling cage carts.
In addition to the roll-out of biosecurity cleaning stations, we have also introduced the use of stainless steel rolling cage carts for the transportation of animals, replacing plastic crates. The way in which these rolling cage carts are designed makes cleaning and disinfection much easier, the goal being the optimal hygienisation of materials (fewer angles or rough patches).
The material we have selected, stainless steel, might be more expensive to produce than the plastic we have used in the past, but this is a sustainable and far less porous material, which is also easier to clean using hot water and can be disinfected.
This new range of rolling cage carts was designed in partnership with livestock farmers and were approved by the DDCSPP*
*The French Departmental Directorate for Social Cohesion and Population Protection
THIS NEW INNOVATIVE PROCESS HELPS MAKE THE WORK CARRIED OUT BY OUR STAFF MUCH EASIER
- Less handling required (rolling cage carts are rolled along the ground, unlike crates, which had to be handled one by one)
- Less exposure to disinfectant products
In order to continue with our commitment to improving biosecurity, all rolling cage carts will soon be equipped with RFID tags, a type of technology that can be used to safely store and share information instantaneously. The chips fitted to our rolling cage carts will contain a log of all animal transfers (batch no., date, etc.) and cleaning operations, enabling us to extensively track all flows and making identification easier in the event of any defects.
4 – TRAINING
The effectiveness of this new equipment and the new processes introduced to tackle avian flu will depend on the commitment, knowledge and diligence of the men and women working in the transport sector. For this very reason, 700 employees within the Mousset Group have been given training in biosecurity.