Vaccination is currently one of the most relevant control strategies in poultry production to reduce infectious disease–induced economic losses and decrease antimicrobial use. Besides intrinsic vaccine efficacy, a proper administration is fundamental to achieve an adequate coverage and protection. Hatchery vaccination is becoming the standard approach for routine vaccination because of administration easiness, the possibility to standardize and optimize the overall process, and the lower impact on animal welfare compared with different types of on-farm vaccination. However, a continuous maintenance, refinement, and training of the personnel are the key to success. In the present work, the effect of longitudinal hatchery audits, performed using a standardized, expert-developed questionnaire was evaluated in 169 hatcheries, located in 11 European countries, over a period of more than 4 yr. A dedicated tablet-based application was implemented for data collection, storage, and analysis, and the obtained scores were used in the evaluation, reporting to the hatchery management and improvement of critical points. A positive significant association was demonstrated between the variation in global and process-specific hatchery scores and the number of performed audits. Similarly, when the longitudinal nature of the data (i.e., multiple visits) was accounted for using linear mixed models, including the hatchery and country as random factors, a significant trend in performance improvement was observed visit after visit, although with certain differences based on the specific score and country. The present study demonstrates the benefits of an objective evaluation of hatchery performances through a standardized questionnaire, followed by the discussion on the major required actions. The widespread application of this approach should lead to a significant improvement in vaccine administration performances, with direct consequences on infectious disease occurrence and animal production performances, and indirectly on therapeutic and control-related costs.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.