Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2 | Award Amount: 4.02M | Year: 2010
The problem and AirPath solution This project targets a large group of SMEs with a shared need. In Europe there are more than 50,000 broiler breeders who are facing a major problem concerning control of air- and insect-borne pathogens in their broiler houses, which results in high infection rates of the broiler flocks. This is partly caused by insects especially flies entering the broiler house through the ventilation system. The Airpath project seeks to solve this problem by developing a new type of barrier based on electrostatic precipitation. This is a known technology used in larger applications where cost is not a major concern such as chimneys on power plants. Hence, the technology must be further developed, scaled and adapted to the specific needs of the European broiler industry. Background of the project The project seeks to solve one of the major challenges that the poultry sector is facing concerning airborne pathogens. An example is Campylobacter which is a major problem in broiler houses (and in the consumer product). At certain times of the year (the warmer months) the breeders experience a rise of infection to more than 60-80% of the flocks. A previous study by DTU Veterinary Institute in Denmark has demonstrated that a major source of the infections is flies entering the houses through the ventilation system. DTU has demonstrated that by effectively keeping the flies out of the broiler houses, the number of infected populations will be drastically reduced. Using simple fly screens it was possible to reduce the infection rate to 15% of the flocs in the problematic period, whereas control populations not using screens showed more 50% infection rate.