The biosecurity of mass poultry mortality composting


This project will investigate the potential of using in-shed composting to contain an emergency disease outbreak in the Australian poultry industry. The project will improve the readiness of industry and government agencies to respond quickly to contain and eradicate the avian influenza virus and other emergency animal diseases (EAD) in the poultry industry.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

OLD ABN-The Department of Primary Industries on behalf of the State of Victoria

Objective Summary

a) To investigate the feasibility of using on-farm composting to contain an emergency disease outbreak in the major poultry industry regions of Australia. b) To investigate and validate the effectiveness of composting in eliminating avian viruses in poultry carcasses and litter. Trials will investigate the effects of composting on the survival of non-pathogenic strains of AI and NDV in carcasses. c) To develop SOPs for on-farm composting of poultry mortalities for use in the event of an emergency disease outbreak. A series of trials will be conducted to optimise the composting process to meet logistical, biosecurity, public health and environmental objectives. Variations on the British Columbia and Universities of Maryland & Delaware composting models will be tested. d) Promote the adoption of SOPs by emergency management agencies. This will be achieved through consultation with nationally coordinated working groups bringing together both federal and state government agencies responsible for handling emergency disease outbreaks (the National Carcass Disposal Steering Group and the Subcommittee on Emergency Animal Diseases).

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Project Completion Date

Thursday, June 30, 2011

National Priority

Safeguarding Australia

National Priority

Sustainable natural resource management

National Priority

CME-Develop and implement measures to improve industry's impact on the enviroment