The NetPoulSafe project – Networking European poultry actors for enhancing the compliance of biosecurity measures for a sustainable production – is a EU thematic network on supporting measures to improve biosecurity compliance in poultry farming, designed to stimulate knowledge exchange between European poultry actors. NetPoulSafe project is led by ITAVI.
Collect, select, test and share the best supporting measures
The best supporting measures to improve biosecurity compliance in the poultry chain will be collected in 7 large poultry producing countries (France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland),
The most promissing ones will be tested through pilot farms in differents countries and types of production. The validated supporting measures will be then disseminated to farmers and their advisers, for direct use in practice, thanks to 7 National multi-actor networks gathering around 500 people.
Building a european knowledge platform dedicated to biosecurity compliance
Videos, e-learning courses, best practice guides and many other resources issued from the project will be shared in a on-line knowledge platform, to help fields actors enhancing the level of biosecurity compliance throughout the whole poultry chain.
All actors of the poultry industry are invited to participate to the Netpoulsafe stakeholders network. Join us on board !
Biosecurity, a key issue for the poultry industry
Refering to recent AI crisis, there is an emerging need to manage biosecurity matters at local, regional, national and international levels to avoid farm to farm contamination.
Biosecurity practices are known often quite well, but compliance is not optimum in every country nor in each part of the poultry chain. Up to date, there is no easy source of information available on biosecurity in european countries. Therefore, this knowldege needs to be shared among european poultry professionals, from hatchery to slaughter.
The NetPoulSafe project, funded by the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement n. 101000728, has an overall budget of approximately € 2 million and will run for 3 years, between October 2020 and September 2023.
Partners of the NetPoulsafe Project
ITAVI is the NetPoulSafe Project leader, also coordinating creation of the knowledge exchange platform, participation to data collection, testing in pilot farms and dissemination activities. is new online academic degree offers a new way of combining innovative learning and teaching techniques with interaction between lecturers and fellow students from around the world.
By combining this online course with short period of onsite practical trainings students will be able to acquire both in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge.
This academic degree is designed to suit those in continuing employment or with other commitments.
This course is designed to educate students with a diverse educational background with an interest in poultry health sciences, not only veterinarians.
ITAVI is a French applied research and development Institute which serves professionals in the poultry, rabbits and aquaculture sectors
We contribute to adressing a public health issue and aim to identify and characterize the biological and physical impacts of chemical contaminants, identify risk factors and the controls levers for all the value chain, and develop prevention tools to ensure the health quality of the consumer products, health and wellbeing of workers and animals.
We aim at providing breeders, and all industry sectors, with reference materials; scientific, technical and economic information; and expertise enabling improved production sustainability, in the following sectors: nutrition, health and welfare, product quality, environment, and economics.
Founded in 1968, this association (status: non-profit organization) is steered by four colleges: breeders, feed production, farmers, and slaughterhouses.
ITAVI is a partner of ANSES in the Sanivol mixed technology unit (about health, hygiene and biosecurity), and NetPoulSafe project is being run through this partnership.
We strongly believe that sharing knowledges and practices about biosecurity at a European level will contribute to prevent severe crisis/outbreaks and to improve biosecurity acceptance.
ANSES is leader of the Task 1 of the WP2: Collection and analysis of the application of biosecurity practices in NetPoulSafe project.
The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) is an administrative public establishment. ANSES undertakes monitoring, expert assessment, research and reference activities in a broad range of topics that encompass human health, animal health and welfare, and plant health. A network of nine reference and research laboratories located throughout France, which are in geographical proximity to their respective sectors, in three main areas: animal health and welfare, food safety (chemical and microbiological) and plant health. Thanks to their work in providing expertise, epidemiological monitoring, alerts and scientific and technical assistance, they play a vital role in understanding various threats and in collecting data from their network of reference and research laboratories.
EPISABE is a research unit of the laboratory of Ploufragan. Research activities are focused towards the acquisition of knowledge aimed at understanding and managing health hazards in the animal sectors, mainly pig, poultry and rabbit, as well as zoonotic hazards within these sectors, antibiotic use practices in relation to the emergence of resistance and the improvement of animal welfare. The unit contributes to the surveillance of diseases that are regulated or penalizing for the sectors studied. Research work also involves the development of tools and methods (statistics, modelling) adapted to the specific needs of the topics covered.
Due to the strong link to the poultry sector, CECAV will actively contribute to the dissemination and communication of the NetPoulSafe project throughout the EU and will be in charge together with CESAC of collecting data about Spanish Poultry AKIS.
Created in 2007 and located in Castellón (Spain), the Poultry Quality and Animal Nutrition Center of the Valencian Region (CECAV) is a reference center of the poultry sector. CECAV covers about 25% of the Spanish poultry farms in terms of laboratory support and training. Thanks to the close collaboration with the poultry sector and the regional and national authorities, CECAV has become a centre of refereeing excellence in the Spanish poultry sector. We aim at providing the necessary tools for guaranteeing animal health and the quality of animal products (specially poultry ones) to primary production: animal feed industry, farms and slaughterhouses. Based on our applied research vocation, and with the aim of offering innovative solutions to the agro-alimentary and the poultry sector, CECAV has been involved in different projects focused on the reduction of the environmental impact of poultry farming, epidemiosurveillance, the epidemiology and control of poultry diseases/infections (e.g. Mycoplasmosis, Infectious Bronchitis, Salmonella and Campylobacter, among others), the implementation of poultry health maps (prevalence and seroprevalence), the antimicrobial resistance and the phage therapy. NetPoulSafe is one of the H2020 projects #CECAV is involved in.
CESAC will develop the NetPoulSafe Project Handbook and will be in charge with CECAV of collecting data about Spanish Poultry AKIS and to disseminate the project results to them.
CESAC is a company created as the result of the collaboration between Catalonia and Aragon administrations and the private companies of the poultry sector of these two regions : Federació Avícola Catalana (FAC) and Avicultures Aragó (AVIAR). Our laboratory is designated by the agriculture, livestock, fishing and food Department of the Catalunya Government, for carrying out official analyses of the diseases included in the official bird programs in Catalonia such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. We dedicate our efforts to give:
- Laboratory service : To help veterinarians to diagnose avian diseases such as Mycoplasmosis, Infectious Bronchitis, Newcastle virus, Influenza virus, Gumboro disease … in breeders hens, broilers, layers, turkeys, quails and partridges. We carry out the isolation and identification of the mainly poultry pathogens according to the official technique. Several Serology techniques are being employed as, Hemagglutination Inhibition Test (HAI), Enzyme-linked Inmunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Moreover, we employed Molecular biology techniques such as Real Time-PCR.
- Support to the poultry farming : helping and answring our partners ‘ inqueries.
- Technical training : We carry out courses for the training of veterinarians, farmers, students, administration and farmers’ advisors.
- Farm Sampling : Our field technicians visit our partners farm to take samples. Sometimes our veterinarians take these samples.
Moreover, we are the meeting point to exchange the knowledge between poultry technicians of Catalonia and Aragon. We have differents publications concerning Infectius Bronchitis Virus and Avian Hepatitis E virus.
Euroquality is supporting the daily management activities, integrating the Netpoulsafe project in the related R&I landscape and involved in dissemination and communication activities.
Euroquality is a French company specialised in innovation and collaborative projects setting-up and management since 1997, with offices in Paris, Bordeaux and Madrid. Euroquality has been successfully preparing and managing several of European projects, especially in the field of agriculture and agri-food, in close collaboration with its wide networks of partners. Euroquality is also expert in communicating, disseminating and exploiting the results of European projects thanks to in-house expertise.
LVO is involved in stakeholder recruitment, assessment of implementation and evaluation of compliance of biosecurity measures in the farms taking part in NetPoulSafe project. ILVO is also involved in dissemination and communication activities.
Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) researches the entire food chain, from primary food production to food processing and also the social and economic aspects of agriculture and fisheries. ILVO is an independent governmental research institute, part of the Government of Flanders’ Agriculture and Fisheries Policy Area in Belgium. ILVO’s mission is to perform and coordinate policy-supportive scientific research and the associated public service with the goal of creating sustainable agriculture and fisheries from an economic, ecological and social perspective. ILVO research and its related services span the range from fundamental and applied crop and animal sciences to agricultural engineering, marine and fisheries research, food science, social science research and economics. Using research, ILVO strives to improve products and production methods, monitor and safeguard the quality and safety of end products, and to improve policy instruments with the aim of developing policy related to agriculture, rural areas, and fisheries. ILVO continually informs policymakers, the relevant industries, and the public about its research findings.
INRAE is in charge of the task dedicated to the analysis of the existing biosecurity databases ; and also participates to most tasks in NetPoulSafe.
INRAE is the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment. It uses research, innovation, and support for public policies as tools to guide the emergence of sustainable agricultural and food production systems. The research unit which is involved in NetPoulSafe is the UMR IHAP (for “interactions between hosts and pathogens”), a multidisciplinary unit which is under supervision of INRAE and the National Veterinary School of Toulouse. As it is located in a veterinary school, the research unit’s activities involve the study of animal diseases, taking into account pathogen interaction with hosts, disease diagnostic and the conditions of its spread. For example, with regards to poultry diseases, it aims at understanding the determinants of biosecurity compliance in poultry farms, in order to increase compliance using farmer-adapted solutions. It also aims at understanding the patterns of regional transmission of poultry diseases such as avian influenza, with the help of models using pathogen genetic data (i.e., genetic sequences), farm network (e.g., truck movements between farms) and spatial information (e.g., ecosystems favourable to wild birds, weather patterns, density and type of poultry farms in the surroundings). The research unit’s staff is also used to disseminating research to a large and diverse audience: scientists, students or farmers.
MATE participates in several tasks of the NetPoulSafe project, including data collection, testing supporting measures in pilot farms and dissemination activites in the local network.
MATE is one of the largest agricultural-focused, multi-disciplinary higher education institutions in Europe that was established on 1 February 2021. The University has an outstanding role in word class education that provides, under the guidance of the Hungarian agriculture possessing, excellent qualities, inspireing career possibilities, and a cost-of-living safety for young graduate students. There are 20 institutes operating at the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which supply the basic activities of education, research, art and innovation across campuses. The research portfolio of MATE includes agricultural, technical and food sciences, oenology, viticulture, horticulture, environmental and landscape management, renewable energy management, aquaculture and environmental safety, genetics, crop production and protection, animals’ husbandry and game management, landscape architecture, rural development and water management.
The Hungarian participants in project NETPOULSAFE represent various institutes of MATE (Institute of Animal Breeding Science, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Biotechology, Institute of Food Science and Technology), thus the scientific profile in Project is comprehensive. The role of MATE in NETPOULSAFE project is to organise the AKIS network (together with the other Hungarian partner UVMB providing the Network Facilitator) and to comply and participate in the Scientific and Technical Working Group. This management of data collection and evaluation assists the role of the Hungarian Network Facilitator. Participants at MATE also take part in dissemination activities by translating the project documents into Hungarian and into English and communicating the project at scientific conferences and symposia.
The Department of Animal Breeding Technology and Animal Welfare, Institute of Animal Breeding Science, involved in the project, has an extensive research profile including investigation of meat and milk, effects of light sources with different technologies on the production and physiological parameters of poultry species, examination of the usability of algae for the production of health-protecting milk and dairy products, assessment of meat and dairy production and quality of ruminant species, the possibilities of improving the production of fatty liver and animal welfare of farm animals.
The research activity of Agro-environmental Research Centre, Institute of Environmental Sciences focuses on the assessment of the environmental appearance, distribution, and biological effects of pollutants of agricultural origin, as well as the related hazards and risks. Accordingly, the professional units of the Research Centre are the Department of Environmental Analysis and the Department of Ecotoxicology. For environmental analytical research, the group has instrumental analytical and immunoanalytical laboratories. Ecotoxicological evaluations are carried out in tests based partly on relevant OECD standards and partly on self-developed biotest methods.
The scientific focus of Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology covers the application of genetic and biotechnological methods to influence the economically significant properties of crops, increase their stress tolerance and maintain crop safety, application of bioinformatics and genomic methods in the breeding of farm animals, plant breeding, and weed research, development of precision breeding procedures for farm animals based on genetic and genomic studies, investigation of microbial ecosystems and the spread mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.
The Institute of Food Sciences and Technology has a complex equipment park for scientific work including food preservation with high hydrostatic pressure technology, controlled atmosphere refrigerated storage of fruits and vegetables, beer technology research, sensory certification laboratory, bioethanol production, membrane separation methodologies, food analysis, food microbiology, PCR and rapid method laboratory.
SNGTV will share veterinarian expertise on the practical implementation of biosecurity practices and disseminate the NetPoulSafe project results to the vets and through them, to the farmers.
SNGTV is a French national network of veterinarians working with farm animals. It represents more than 2’100 large animal veterinarians in France. Its main activities include the implementation of trainings for vets (https://www2.sngtv.org/), the publication of a bi-monthly scientific journal (https://www2.sngtv.org/bulletin_des_gtv/) the organisation of a national annual conference (https://www.sngtv.org/4DACTION/NS2013_INDEX/2), the development of software designed to support veterinarians in their daily practice, as well as the participation and management of numerous projects in collaboration with public and private institutions (French ministry of Agriculture and Food, Animal Health Epidemiological Surveillance platform, GDS France, ENSV).
For its activities, the SNGTV leans on its experts, organized into topic-specific commissions. The SNGTV’s expertise ranges from large species such as cattle to tiny ones like bees and includes expertise on pigs, poultry, goats, sheep, equines and rabbits. It addresses important topics for vet partitioners such as milk quality, drugs, epidemiology, environment and antimicrobial resistance.
In particular, the SNGTV Poultry Committee gathers representatives of vets working in every production type within the French poultry industry: free-range broilers and layers, ducks, turkeys, hatcheries and breeders. Vets are important advisors and facilitate the information flow to and from the field. We believe that networking is the best way to foster communication between farmers, poultry industry, scientists, inter-branch poultry representatives and authorities.
For the NetPoulSafe project, new versions of the Biocheck.Ugent tool, with adapted questions, will be developed by Ghent University that are applicable to five different poultry production systems like breeders, turkeys, ducks, free-range broiler, and free-range layers. Data on biosecurity applications based upon the existing Biocheck.Ugent database for broilers and layers will be used for the historical data analysis. Besides this Ghent University will contribute to the multicountry data collection exercises.
The Veterinary Epidemiology unit of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Ghent University is a leading research unit in the world with regard to biosecurity in animal production and veterinary medicine. The unit has developed the Biocheck.Ugent scoring system (https://biocheck.ugent.be/en) for measuring biosecurity compliance and improving disease prevention in animal production (cattle, pigs and poultry layers and broilers). The tool enables farmers towards an improved production and a consequential reduced risk of infection and need for antimicrobials. The research group has successfully demonstrated that reduction of antimicrobial use in intensive animal production is feasible and may even be profitable.
UGent has already partnered with several H2020 projects and its strong connections with poultry veterinarians, advisory services, sector organizations and governments supports networking for project implementation.
To develop new risk based scoring tools for five different poultry production systems, a panel of poultry experts from the seven partner countries were recruited. Meetings were organized via TEAMS to discuss the biosecurity practices relevant to each poultry species. Experts will also be consulted during the attribution of weights to the questions in the sub-categories. Each poultry species specific tool will be pre-tested in test farms before application in the field. The final risk based tool will be used to evaluate biosecurity compliance and efficiency of supporting measures implemented in poultry farms. The Biocheck surveys will be translated into relevant languages of the participating countries. UGent will also be actively involved in data collection of biosecurity measures and supporting measures from poultry field, literature and legislation.
UNIPD will be responsible for establishment and implementation of the pilot farms network, implementation and evaluation of the supporting measures, and creation of content for NetPoulSafe project results dissemination.
Researchers from the Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science (BCA), University of Padua (UNIPD), participate to the NetPoulSafe project. Within BCA Department, research and education on poultry health and welfare are addressed by a multidisciplinary approach, including veterinary medicine and applied animal science. BCA Department expertise ranges from poultry husbandry and welfare to poultry infectious disease, including zoonotic microorganisms and antimicrobial resistance. This variety of skills allows BCA Department to fit perfectly with the NetPoulSafe project purposes. The research activity of the group, both as a leading group and as a participant in national and international projects, is developed in collaboration with a wide network of stakeholders of the poultry production chain, which will assure a successful implementation of the NetPoulSafe project in the field and will contribute to a wide dissemination of NetPoulSafe results and outcomes. UNIPD is leader of tasks 1.3, 3.3, and 4.3 that deals with the establishment and implementation of the pilot farms network and of the supporting measures, as well as the creation of contents for dissemination. Consolidated experience in research and higher education makes BCA Department a precious resource for the NetPoulSafe project.
The University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest is the only veterinary university in Hungary, established in 1787.
The University has a wide network of stakeholders (feed producers, farmers, veterinary drug producers, food producers, etc.) acting as a consultation and also as a dissemination forum. As the only veterinary higher education institution in Hungary, the University has a key role in keeping animal health, veterinary public health and food safety trainings up to date with continuous development.
The Department of Animal Hygiene, Herd Health and Mobile Clinic involved in the project has an extensive experience in multi- and interdisciplinary scientific fields related to animal hygiene: veterinary preventive medicine, environmental physiology, ethology of farm animals and herd-health. The main (strongest) profile of the Department is cattle herd-health, however, in the last two years the poultry-hygiene and flock-health line has become the most dynamically developing unit of the Department.
The poultry health service is operated with a very complex flock (farm) health program, which includes flock investigation, the development of various prevention (immunization) protocols, and the compilation of various monitoring (Mycoplasma, Salmonella) programs. Our Department has a very serious experience of farm animal hygiene and disease prevention, managing of biosecurity protocols.
The other unit involved in the project is the Digital Food Institute, which integrates food chain safety data analysis and research along the whole food chain. The main objective of the Institute is to provide analysis, education, research, development and innovation services in the area of food chain safety for all the stakeholders. The Institute also provides practical support to agri-food business players, develop their digitisation opportunities and provide complex veterinary trainings based on food chain-based digital technologies.
Vetworks can rely on its expertise and network to actively contribute towards WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5 of the NetPoulSafe project.
Vetworks is an independent team of selected veterinary experts with broad international expertise in poultry production. We maintain a broad network in Belgium and abroad consisting of key opinion leaders and decision-makers including individuals from industrial, academic, veterinary and pharmaceutical communities.
Vetworks aims for an integrated approach to poultry production. Our consultants are specialized in auditing smaller and larger breeder, layer and broiler operations, with focus on management and veterinary aspects of the production. Vetworks provides technical support, business development support to the poultry Industry including pharmaceutical companies, equipment companies, diagnostics and feed additive suppliers.
Vetworks has contributed to several research projects in collaboration with various institutions: in Belgium with VLAIO and Ghent University, among others, and in Europe with the European Commission in H2020 projects PHAGOVET & NetPoulSafe and previously FP7 project EFFORT.
Vetworks is a recognized course master by the OIE (WVEPAH) and provides Poultry Technical Trainings in Biosecurity, Poultry welfare, Gut health management, Respiratory health, Parasitology, Breeder management and Food Safety.
WULS will contribute to a successful practical implementation of the results from the NetPoulSafe project.
The Division of Avian Diseases (DAD) at the WULS Institute of Veterinary Medicine has a strong tradition in conducting didactic and scientific research. The Division conducts research to improve poultry production/performance and quality of poultry flocks veterinary care in the field. The research activity of the Division of Avian Diseases is conducted in collaboration with a wide net of stakeholders of the poultry production chain, which will assure a successful practical implementation of the NetPoulSafe project and will contribute to wide dissemination of projects achievements. WULS is a WP2 leader, task 2.2 leader (WP2), and Network Facilitator in the project. The implementation of the project will increase the competence and more effective involvement of DAD in improving the quality of biosecurity on Polish poultry farms. The knowledge gathered in the project will support DAD partners in the innovative and sustainable development of best biosecurity practices.
ZLTO will coordinate the creation and management of the 7 national AKIS poultry networks, and participate to data collection, testing in pilot farms and dissemination activities in the NetPoulSafe project.
The Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organization (ZLTO) represents the interests of entrepreneurs working in green areas.
Around 13,000 farmers and growers in the South-Netherlands are members of our association. Together with them, we work to produce healthy food innovatively and sustainably.
ZLTO supports green entrepreneurs in their daily operational business and is also their connection to other sectors and organizations for creating new opportunities for sustainable economic growth and social welfare. But also a connection to consumers. Account managers and specialist market teams advise and assist entrepreneurs in the countryside with their issues. In addition, ZLTO participates and invests in strategic activities and innovations within the food and agriculture sector that are of added value for the (future) market position of our members.
NetPoulSafe is one of the H2020 projects ZLTO is involved. Being part of the European consortium has great added value for ZLTO : we contribute to the prevention of outbreaks and improving the biosecurity standard for our farmers.
Due to the strong link with farmers, ZLTO will contribute to a successful practical implementation of the project. The knowledge gathered in the project will support our poultry members in innovative and sustainable development regarding biosecurity.