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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 27th February 2006

Monday 27th February 2006
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

*Latest News (link to all this weeks news)

This week we start in France, where nearly a million free range ducks and geese are set to be inoculated against bird flu. The programme began today in the Landes region, on the Atlantic coast of south-west France.
     France earlier confirmed that 15 swans in the south-east had been found to be carrying the potentially deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. Meanwhile in Paris veterinary experts from more than 50 countries are meeting to discuss ways to combat the virus.
     The two-day meeting is taking place at the World Organisation for Animal Health, which alongside the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation is coordinating the international veterinary response to H5N1.

The European Union has approved preventive vaccination for free range laying hens and hobby birds in The Netherlands and France, in order to further decrease the risk of commercial poultry being infected with AI through wild birds, reports Hybro.

France has found H5N1 bird flu in domesticated turkeys, the first time the virus has been detected in farm animals in the European Union. The virus was found in a farm with 11,000 turkeys near the Swiss border, a spokeswoman at the Agriculture Ministry said Saturday. The farm is located a few kilometers from the site where two wild ducks were found dead earlier this week.

Germany has confirmed 110 cases of the H5N1 bird flu among wild birds, agricultural authorities said on Thursday. All the dead wild birds with the H5N1 virus were found in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Six new cases of H5N1 were confirmed among dead wild birds found Thursday on Ruegen island.

A chicken in Austria has also been found. Austria's health ministry said the infected chicken had been kept in a cage where an infected swan also was held, reports the BBC. The ministry said commercial poultry stocks had not been affected.

Slovakia last week reported its first two cases of bird flu after final tests on two dead wild birds showed they had the H5N1 strain of the virus, Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon said. The tests were carried out on a grebe found in the capital of Bratislava and a falcon located in Gabcikovo, in southwestern Slovakia.      Bird flu has scared Slovak consumers away from buying poultry meat, reports The Slovak Spectator. "Consumers of our product have panicked, affecting not so much eggs but the consumption of poultry meat," said Ivan Gróf, director of a poultry farm near Nitra.

In the UK, spotter planes have been ordered to fly over remote areas looking for dead birds in the fight against avian flu, it was revealed yesterday. They are examining areas impossible to scour by foot around estuaries and marshland.
     The planes have been concentrating on areas populated by migrating birds, such as Romney Marsh, Morecambe Bay and the Mersey estuary. One Government source said: "The planes are being used to see if there are cases of dead birds in areas where we could not normally reach them. So far, luckily, nothing has shown up.

With the highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza (AI) virus now confirmed in France and potentially threatening the livelihood of UK poultry farmers, global veterinary biosecurity expert, DuPont Animal Health Solutions (DAHS) is providing farmers with important advice on how to protect valuable flocks from possible infection.

VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant
VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant

British preparations to deal with the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu are "in disarray" and consist of finger-crossing and "prayers to the Almighty", a top virologist said last week. Professor John Oxford said Defra was failing to learn lessons from better-prepared countries of how to deal with the disease, which has spread across Europe in recent weeks.
     Writing for Guardian Unlimited, Prof Oxford, of the Centre for Infectious Diseases at the Queen Mary School of Medicine, called for poultry to be brought indoors and vaccinated against bird flu, which has resulted in the deaths of 200m birds around the world since 2003.

A glut of cheap poultry meat is flooding British markets from the EU, where bird flu in wild birds has led to a plunge in sales. Poultry meat, mainly from Italy where sales are down 70%, is sold to British wholesalers who supply the cooked food industry, although some whole chickens and chicken quarters may end up in discount supermarkets.
     However, imported chicken is not available at leading supermarkets or fastfood chains as such establishments have long-term contracts with suppliers.

At least 40 million birds will not be covered by the UK government registration scheme for poultry, a central plank of the country's defence against bird flu. With the deadline for registration only two days away and outbreaks emerging on the Continent, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt that an estimated 40 million fowls - 20 per cent of the poultry in Britain - will not be accounted for.

Hong Kong has joined Japan in suspending imports of French poultry products over fears of bird flu contamination, reports the Financial Times.

China reported two new human cases of avian influenza, bringing to 14 the number of people in the country known to have been infected. A 9-year-old girl in Zhejiang province and a 26-year-old farmer in Annhui province are infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus, China's Ministry of Health said on Saturday.
     "The virus is endemic in many parts of China, so it's not surprising to see new human cases in the country," said Alphaluck Bhatiasevi, the World Health Organization's spokeswoman in China. "Where there's a poultry infection, there's a likelihood new human cases will occur."

In this weeks China Broiler Market Weekly, eFeedLink report that AA broiler prices rose while those of China breed broilers declined in most regions except for Henan in the week ending Feb 22. AA broiler procurement increased as traders replenish stocks to meet increased demand with the reopening of school term after the festive holidays.

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In Japan, police have arrested two veterinarians and plan to arrest several others in connection with suspected infections of avian flu in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, last year, they said.
     Although details of the allegation remain unknown, the police suspect that the two vets of IKN Egg Farms Co. submitted false samples at an avian flu inspection by the local government of three poultry farms the company operated in Ibaraki in late August last year.

Indian officials battling a bird flu outbreak culled hundreds of thousands of chickens and checked around 90,000 people for symptoms in Gujarat state as authorities ordered tests on dead birds at the other end of the country.
     “More than 88,900 persons have been surveyed by the team. Of these 10 human cases have been kept under observation in isolation wards at the referral hospital,” said an official in the western state of Gujarat, who declined to be named, on Sunday.
     Around 2,000 chickens have died in the Basirghat sub-division in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal in the last three days. The chickens were imported from Pune around a month ago. Authorities have ruled out the possibility of bird flu, but as a precautionary measure, the samples have been sent to Bhopal for further testing.

In Indonesia, bird flu has killed its 20th human victim, a 27-year-old woman, according to tests by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, an Indonesian health ministry official said on Saturday. The announcement came a day after the country launched house-to-house checks on poultry in Jakarta, where 600 fowl have been culled in a bid to halt the spread of the avian flu.
     A hospital spokesman had said the woman had contact with dead chickens in her neighbourhood. Of Indonesia's confirmed fatalities from the H5N1 virus, nine have been in 2006, making Indonesia the country with the most bird flu deaths so far this year.

Despite Nigeria's efforts to battle bird flu, the United Nations is calling for more action, including a vaccination campaign, to thwart a possible regional threat as the deadly disease continues to spread. While the U.N. FAO commended Nigeria Wednesday for taking corrective action to try to rid the country of bird flu through culling and bio-security, the U.N. agency said the country was having trouble enforcing the controls.
     FAO blamed the trade and movement of poultry as being detrimental to the fight against the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus in Nigeria, the first African country to have bird flu in the current outbreak.

In the US, some commercial poultry processors have begun using a bacterial culture developed at the University of Arkansas that can sharply reduce the levels of pathogenic Salmonella and Campylobacter in live poultry.
     This probiotic holds potential economic benefits for the industry as it improves its food safety efforts. And for poultry science researcher Billy Hargis, it’s still not enough as they are confident of making if much more effective.

Visit Safe-Poultry.com and learn about salmonella in poultry
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The Ohio State Department of Agriculture has embargoed about 4.3 million eggs at an Ohio Fresh Eggs operation. A food-safety investigation last week found the state's largest egg farm had been storing the eggs at room temperature. State law requires eggs to be stored under refrigeration in a controlled environment below 45 degrees.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) last week announced a comprehensive initiative to reduce the presence of Salmonella in raw meat and poultry products. "Our goal is to work proactively to reduce the presence of Salmonella on raw products before plants develop a pattern of poor performance," said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond.

Tyson Foods Inc. and Perdue Farms Inc. have agreed to pay fines under proposed settlements with the state, which had accused the two poultry companies of environmental violations. Under its agreement with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson would pay a $25,700 fine for causing two fish kills last summer in a tributary to the Chickahominy River. The fish died after the company's processing plant in Henrico County released too much ammonia and other substances into the creek.

Company news

With the Cobb Europe regional office moving from the Netherlands to the UK, a series of new appointments has been announced by the company. The new planning and export manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is Stuart Burrell who has been working in this department for the past nine years, six in the UK and the last three years in the office at Putten in the Netherlands.

Dutch broiler breeding company Hybro BV has appointed Ms. Anke van der Steen as country manager Hybro India, with effect from January 30, 2006. Anke (30) graduated in Agricultural and Environmental Economics at the Agricultural University of Wageningen, The Netherlands, and joined Nutreco in September 2002 as a management trainee.

Reaching new peaks of performance
Reaching new peaks of performance

*This Week's Feature Articles

We have 5 new features this week

A Focus on Marek’s disease
By Hybro B.V., Boxmeer, The Netherlands - MD was first described by Marek in Hungary (1970). Since then it has been described by numerous authors in many countries. In the nineteen fifties and sixties MD was responsible for enormous losses in the poultry industry: mortality up to 80 % could be seen in some flocks.

Vectored Vaccines for Avian Influenza
By David Swayne, USDA's Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory - Cases of avian influenza infections of poultry and humans have caused the world to be on alert for a pandemic. ARS veterinary medical officer and laboratory director David Swayne and his team at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, are developing new viral-vectored vaccines to facilitate vaccine efficiency against avian influenza.

DAHS Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza Series - No. 2
By DuPont Animal Health Solutions - The critical importance of effective biosecurity measures at Border Control Points is highlighted in a new study from the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, USA.

USDA Poultry and Products Semi-Annual Reports 2006: Japan
By USDA, FAS - This article provides the poultry data from the USDA FAS Poultry and Products Semi-Annual 2006 reports. This week's article covers the following country; Japan.

USDA Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2015
By the Office of the Chief Economist, World Agricultural Outlook Board, USDA - This report provides longrun baseline projections for the agricultural sector through 2015. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

Nicholas - The Turkey for the 21st Century
Nicholas - The Turkey for the 21st Century

That's all for this week!

Ed.


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