Holland Inspiration Seminar


Sustainable and profitable livestock farming



Based in Deventer, the Netherlands, Royal GD owns one of the largest veterinary laboratories in the world and we employ a team of veterinarians, specialists and scientists who execute animal health monitoring, conduct practical research and develop programmes for animal disease prevention and control. To stay ahead in animal health, we invest a lot in knowledge and Research & Development.

Hygiene and biosecurity is of utmost importance for a good cycle: when no pathogen will reach the flock, no harm will be done to the flock. In real life this is hard to achieve and very expensive (ie SPF). For commercial flocks the costs for such standards are too high, a workable equilibrium should be found.

Broiler production is running on a thin line with a lot of time pressure for the cleaning and disinfection (C&D). Pathogenic micro-organisms are a continuous threat as they can cause illness, immunosuppression and poor performance. A good start of a broiler flock begins with healthy chicks in a clean house.

A check of the efficacy of C&D is often missing, mainly because tools are lacking. Visual inspection doesn’t give information on the success of the disinfection, only on cleaning. Bacterial sampling and ATP-testing provides more information about the results of disinfection regarding bacteria, but representativeness is questionable as only very small parts of the broiler house are sampled.

GD developed an innovative, easy test to check if C&D had the desired result. The golden test would sample the whole house, would check for pathogens most resistant to disinfectants and is easy to use. With VIR-check GD comes close to these parameters.

The VIR-checks tests for five different naked viruses at day 6-7 of life taken by cloacal swabs (easy!); the broilers act as incubators in the first week of life (the whole house is sampled by the broilers from day one) and naked viruses are very resistant micro-organisms: when these are killed by disinfection, also the more sensitive gram-positive and -negative bacteria and enveloped viruses are expected to be destroyed.

With a simple test and easy to apply test, cleaning and disinfection can be checked in a sophisticated way now in all broiler houses.