Moy Park chicken grower raises its biosecurity game

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Moy Park's David Mark (left) with chicken grower Graham McIlroy
Moy Park's David Mark (left) with chicken grower Graham McIlroy

Related tags Moy park Sustainable agriculture Agriculture

Moy Park chicken grower Graham McIlroy has invested in a viewing gallery to improve the biosecurity at his farm at Aghadowey in what is a first for the Northern Ireland poultry industry.

The new viewing gallery will allow visitors to the farm to observe the birds from an elevated platform – without having to enter the poultry house.

The viewing gallery will be used to facilitate visits to the farm for customers, retailers and for educational purposes.


Better on-farm biosecurity is seen as one of the key ways of reducing the high incidence of campylobacter in poultry.

The latest research from the Food Standards Agency suggests that over a six-month sampling period, an average of 70% of chickens in UK supermarkets were infected with the bacterium, which is the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK.

“Moy Park is proactive in encouraging our growers to pioneer cutting-edge technology,”​ said David Mark, Moy Park general manager agricultural projects. “Graham is an award-winning grower and his farm is the perfect showcase of the use of state-of-the-art innovations in sustainable poultry farming.”

McIlroy already makes use of sustainable farming practices, including advanced biosecurity controls, a biomass hot water heating system, solar panels and the innovative use of local wood chips to fuel his biomass boilers.

Reduce contamination

Moy Park has also introduced a number of measures across its factories to reduce campylobacter contamination of chickens during processing and complement on-farm biosecurity measures.

At Moy Park’s Anwick plant in Lincolnshire, it uses a hot water sprayer to disinfect the necks of birds before they are removed.

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