Emergency depopulation of chicken farms during an Avian Influenza outbreak (Material selection and prototyping processes)
Bhani Muthu, Vivhek
Date of Issue2016
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Avian Influenza or more casually addressed as Avian Flu or Bird Flu refers to viruses that infect birds. It is an infectious disease which is more typically initiated by the type A strains of the influenza virus. The HPAI (Highly pathogenic avian influenza), which is the pernicious strain, is the one the world is truly concerned about. Bird flu can be transmitted contagiously from livestock to wild-birds and pet-birds and vice-versa. The virus carriers from infected birds include saliva, nasal secretions, feed and faeces. While humans are primarily less prone to HPAI, infections have occurred before. Most of these cases ensue from direct or close contact to infected poultry or excretions and secretions from infected birds. Slaughtering, de-feathering, handling carcasses of infected poultry and preparing poultry for consumption are deemed to increase risk of transmission. With strains mutilating to more infectious forms which humans are less immune to, the pressing need to deal with Avian influenza in the quickest time possible has taken precedence. This is especially important to avoid Influenza pandemics which will could cause health, social and economic catastrophes. In Singapore, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) requires all poultries to be depopulated within 24-hour once AI is reported. In Singapore, the current existing method in place to remove laying hens from their battery cages is done by hands. This method may be inadequate and lack efficiency during the emergency depopulation of 3 chicken farms in Singapore. Moreover, they post potential hazards. To mitigate problems arising from existing methods, the author is tasked to design, create and test a new extraction device that would increase efficiency and aid with the depopulation of the chicken farms. The extraction device should be mindful to be light weight, non-intrusive to the workers job, effective in extracting chickens from their battery cages and be user friendly. It must also be cost-effective to produce in small quantities, strong in material and designed for assembly and disassembly.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University