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Objective monitoring of cleaning with the VIR Check

Dionne Rauff is distributor of Royal GD in South Africa and sells, in addition to the PTS and diagnostics, the VIR check. “The VIR Check is a fantastic and objective tool to independently check the effectiveness of cleaning in broiler houses.”

Dionne: “About 50% of the poultry vets that I work with, currently use the VIR check on their clients’ farms. Especially where the broilers are experiencing growth problems. We are currently carrying out at least two VIR checks a week, for a large integrated operation and for a number of smaller poultry farms”.

Monitoring cleaning companies 

In South Africa, broiler houses are cleaned by specialised cleaning companies, Dionne explains, not by the farmers themselves. “One client is currently putting in a regulatory system, where two of their houses get a VIR check every cycle. This way, they can monitor the cleaning companies. Previously, those companies were basically monitoring themselves, checking bacterial load only. With the VIR Check, viruses are also included. Clients are extremely happy with the results. Veterinarians can link poor outcomes of a VIR Check to poor performance on the farms. They can then act, before the next cycle starts. Farmers are happy to use the VIR Check as they are often weary of the tests the cleaning companies do. Cleaning companies might be biased in judging their own bacteriological samples and their own work. The VIR check is an objective evaluation of the cleaning process.”  

Samples to the Netherlands 

“Vets advise the farm managers, who carry out the test. The VIR Check is easy to do. I have developed a five point procedure that I always provide to first-time users” Dionne explains. “Subsequently, I organise the collection of the samples and send them to Royal GD in The Netherlands. The service is fantastic, it takes four to five days to get the tests to The Netherlands and then four days later I receive the test results. We slaughter early in South Africa, usually at 33 days, so a total time of two weeks for testing is great. Once the results are in, the farm managers can talk to their cleaning company and check on chemicals and procedures.” 

Approach the vets 

Dionne’s has some words of wisdom for other distributors of the VIR Check outside of the Netherlands: “I would recommend going through the veterinarians, instead of approaching farmers directly. Once they see the results of the VIR Check, they will recommend it for use at their clients farms. In South Africa a number of pharmaceutical companies now also recommend the use of the VIR check.”

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