More than 20 chicken retailers and butchers in Chennai, India, took part in a two-day zoonoses awareness-raising programme organised by the One Health Poultry Hub social science team at Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS).

The course covered best management practices to avoid transmission of zoonotic diseases from poultry to people, including issues surrounding waste disposal, ventilation, temperature control, sanitation, slaughtering, packing, leakage repair, prompt removal of dead birds, and customer approach.

Hands on training. Image: TANUVAS

The programme included guest lectures, demonstrations, videos and field visits led by key experts from the poultry sector, including from TANUVAS.

Pathogens in chickens such as Campylobacter and Salmonella can be passed to people through occupational exposure or food handling and eating. Understanding and preventing this is therefore key.

Lecture. Image: TANUVAS

Dr P. Kumaravel, Dean of the Veterinary College and Research Institute, Udumalpet, and Hub Principal Investigator at TANUVAS, delivered the welcome address for the programme, which was organised by Professor Raman Muthusamy, Programme Coordinator, and project associates Dr Ganesh Janarthanan and Mr Paramasivam Vigneshvaran.

A WhatsApp group was created for the participants to further ask questions of the course leaders on issues related to biosecurity, packaging, storing and handling of birds. Poultry hygiene kits comprising aprons, head gear, gloves, stainless steel trays and other items were distributed to the participants.

Distribution of hygiene kits. Image: TANUVAS

Feedback from the programme was good, with participants recommending that similar capacity building programmes be organised for other chicken retailers. Participants said they subsequently shared their experiences with their nearby chicken retail shops, relatives and friends.