Dr. Nathaniel Tablante and Dr. Mostafa Ghanem recently received a competitive 2-year USDA-NIFA grant ($106,963), for their project “BIOSECURITY COMPLIANCE AUDITS TO PREVENT OUTBREAKS OF HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA (HPAI) AND RISK BASED PLANNING TO IMPROVE OUTBREAK RESPONSE". This grant is part of the Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program. The program supports innovative, education-based approaches to address disaster preparedness and specific responses related to disasters or disaster threats caused by natural, human-made, or technological hazards, or by other factors that contribute to the exposure or vulnerability of a community. Dr. Tablante and his team received a similar grant in 2015 that led to the development of three short biosecurity videos that focused on simple, but science-based steps to prevent avian influenza outbreaks.
The project team also includes University of Maryland poultry extension agents who will work with poultry companies and growers to improve biosecurity compliance on poultry farms by conducting biosecurity audits and encouraging the application of the NPIP (National Poultry Improvement Plan) Biosecurity Program Standards.
In addition, Dr. Tablante and Dr. Ghanem will use multiple communication approaches to improve the response to HPAI outbreaks by increasing awareness of secure poultry supply plans among growers and stakeholders and encouraging the implementation of its rules to ensure business continuity with minimal risk for non-infected and non-contaminated poultry and poultry products during an active HPAI outbreak.
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