Paper published: Backyard poultry cases in UK small animal practices

Published on

Elderly person handfeeding a white chicken

The latest paper using SAVSNET data has been published in the Veterinary Record. This is the first time SAVSNET data has been used to explore backyard poultry and was generously funded by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, with further support from the INSPIRE Summer Research School programme at the University of Liverpool.

  • This study described and characterised veterinary practice‐visiting backyard poultry, utilising electronic health record data supplied by veterinary practices voluntarily participating in the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2019.
  • In total, 4424 recorded poultry consultations originating from 197 veterinary practices (352 sites) were summarised. Chicken consultation (n = 3740) peak incidence was in early summer (April‐June), relative to all recorded species. More chickens resided in rural (incident rate ratio = 2.5, confidence interval [CI] 2.3–2.6,P < 0.001) or less deprived areas.
  • Non‐specific clinical signs were commonly recorded (17.6% of chicken consultations, CI 15.9–19.2), as were those indicative of advanced disease. This latter finding was reflected in prescribed management strategies, with euthanasia comprising 29.8% (CI 27.0–32.6) of consultations.
  • Antimicrobials were commonly prescribed (33.0% of consultations, CI 29.8–36.2), 43.8% of which included antimicrobials considered ‘highest priority critically important’ by the World Health Organisation.

Read the full paper here

Read the infographic summarising this work here