Hygiene Protocols for the Prevention and Control of Diseases (Particularly Beak and Feather Disease) in Australian Birds

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006

8. Disinfection of Waste and Equipment

Virkon S has been recommended as the disinfectant of choice in Section 2 (Action 2.5).

Soaps and detergents are necessary to reduce organic matter on, and effectively clean, equipment and buildings. They are also effective (once all visible organic matter is removed) against lipid enveloped viruses.

Once premises have been thoroughly cleaned of organic matter, they are treated with 2% Virkon S solution and left for 24 hours. Ensure that surfaces are covered by disinfectant solution for at least 10 minutes.

Equipment that has been thoroughly cleaned of visible organic matter can be immersed in 2% Virkon S for at least 10 minutes, taking care that parts of the equipment are not uncovered by the solution during that period.

Surfaces that have been thoroughly cleaned of visible organic matter may be covered with 2% Virkon S for at least 10 minutes’ contact time, taking care that the solution the solution does not dry out in spots during that time. Clean all equipment and surfaces of any residual disinfectant to avoid the possibility of corrosion of metals or transfer of disinfectant to birds.

Any wooden equipment, such as perches and nest boxes, should be disposed of and replaced with new perches and nest boxes. Use solid timber and avoid using new particle board (possible toxic ingredients) for nest boxes.

Disposal of carcases and their products is covered in Section 11. Waste from captive or wild birds (faeces, urine, uneaten food and discarded litter such as sand, gravel etc) should be placed in a wet-strength plastic bag which is then placed in a clearly labeled heavy duty opaque plastic bag which displays the universal biohazard label, for disposal as medical waste by a municipal contractor. Any sharps container must be disposed of similarly. Waste must never be placed outside a module where wild mammals and birds can access it, or where wind might distribute it to a remote site.

In situations where there is considerable waste to dispose of, it is possible to compost it, but the material must not be accessible to mammals and birds, and must be contained so that it cannot spread to other sites. In addition, a composting site must take into account the water table and leachate from the compost.