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This week we start in Russia, where the mass vaccination of poultry has been initiated to contain the spread of the bird flu virus. Provinces in Southern Russia, believed to face an increased risk of bird flu have already been provided with millions of bird flu vaccine.
The initial focus of the vaccination programme is being targeted at delivery of the bird flu vaccine to farms, located close to ponds and other water sources due to the enhanced threat of these areas from migratory birds.
As if bird flu was not enough of a threat, about 22,000 birds have died from a suspected outbreak of Newcastle Disease at a poultry farm in southern Russia, the local Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday. Final laboratory tests should be available later today.
The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu was detected for the first time in poultry in Myanmar and Cameroon, officials in the two nations said, in the latest sign of the disease's expanding range in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Experts over the weekend confirmed cases in hundreds of dead chickens at a farm outside of Myanmar's second largest city, Mandalay, according to the country's livestock breeding and veterinary department.
Cameroon's government announced its first avian case on Sunday, becoming the fourth African country to be struck by the deadly bird flu virus. Nigeria, Niger and Egypt are the other three.
In Greece, the government announced Sunday that two more samples from dead swans tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, bringing the number of infected wild bird to 32.
The Agriculture Ministry said in an announcement that both birds were found in northern Greece, adding that protective measures had already been in place in the related areas.
The prospect of Europe battling bird flu for years to come has profound implications for the bloc’s €20 billion ($24 billion) poultry industry, which must make radical changes to survive, analysts said on Friday.
“The industry needs to anticipate the new reality. Companies will have to learn to live with the virus,” Nan-Dirk Mulder, global livestock specialist at Rabobank told Reuters.
Many countries in the European Union have now reported cases of H5N1 avian influenza in wild birds. Poultry sales have dipped across the bloc, falling by up to 50 percent in some countries.
However, sales of poultry products have begun to bounce back after falling dramatically following the discovery of bird flu in western Europe last month, according to poultry producers.
Vincent Carton, a director of Dublin poultry processor Carton Bros, noticed a significant dip in sales last month as fewer people bought its chicken brand, Manor Farm Chickens, when cases of the avian flu were found in wild birds in France and Germany. However, he believes this was only a knee-jerk reaction to the discovery of the H5N1 strain in western Europe, and that sales are starting to return to normal as media coverage dies off.
VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant
The Food and Agriculture Organization confirm that the recent bird flu outbreaks in Europe, Middle East and Africa have caused dramatic swings in poultry consumption, increased trade bans and sharp price declines.
As unfounded fears of disease transmission reduce consumption and imports, lower domestic prices are forecast to limit production growth. Up until recently, international poultry prices had been driven up by over 30 percent because of declining exportable supplies. Developments in 2006 indicate a very different picture the group say.
In Vietnam, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has submitted to the Government a project to revamp poultry breeding, slaughtering and processing from 2006-15 to control bird flu, an official said. As the poultry industry is in its recovery phase, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong said the renewal project aims to achieve a gross value of VND21 trillion (US$1.3 billion) for the poultry breeding sector by 2010.
The project will focus on large scale poultry breeding and industrialisation of processing and slaughtering facilities since some 75-80 per cent of the country’s total poultry are raised on small scale farms.
Hong Kong: It is impractical to implement a "zero live chicken' policy at this stage, Hong Kong Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare & Food Carrie Yau said on Saturday, calling on the poultry sector to support preventive measures against bird flu.
Speaking on a radio talkshow, Yau said the suspension of live chicken imports from the Chinese mainland should not create any major problem for live poultry sellers, as there are still more than 2 million live chickens in Hong Kong. Yau said public support for central slaughtering is rising, and this is the direction of policy development.
The WHO have publicly admitted they made a mistake labeling Taiwan a bird flu area on the disease outbreak map on their official Web site.
They confirmed there have been no cases of human or poultry avian influenza in Taiwan. However a WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said WHO would continued to refer to Taiwan as a "province of China," due to its adherence to the "one-China" policy and this is the reason for lumping China and Taiwan as one country on their maps.
L.I.R. - Going from strength to strength
In this weeks China Broiler Market Weekly, eFeedLink report that broiler prices were significantly lower in southern China as fresh cases of bird flu dampened demand during the week ending Mar 8.
Prices of China breed broilers in Guangdong province and Guangxi Zhuang region fell sharply in the past week following a case of human fatality in Guangdong. The suspension of live broiler exports to Hong Kong for at least two weeks has also sent broiler prices plummeting in the two provinces.
In India, slowly but surely, chicken and eggs are returning to dinner tables and restaurant menus after a bird flu outbreak last month in a western town scared millions of Indians off poultry and cost the industry more than $120 million.
Authorities said last week that the H5N1 avian flu infection among poultry in Navapur, Maharashtra, had been contained and no human cases had been reported in the country.
In Azerbaijan, health authorities are investigating a worrisome cluster of possible human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, the WHO said Thursday. A total of 11 suspected cases, including eight members of the same family, are being assessed, WHO spokeswoman Maria Cheng said. Of the 11 suspect cases, three people have died and one is listed in serious condition in hospital.
"Currently there are signs that suggest this could be a human H5N1 cluster," Cheng said. "But we don't know that right now. We still need to do more thorough epidemiological investigation and wait for the lab results." "It certainly looks a bit suspicious, but we don't have enough information to draw conclusions."
In the US, worries about bird flu have
dampened trade prospects for poultry, which already is facing lower prices, the Agriculture Department said Friday. The United States should export 5.3 billion pounds of poultry this year, the department said in its monthly crop report. That's a drop of 95 million pounds from last month's projections.
Companies, not farmers, are feeling pressured. Chicken and turkey farmers generally get steady prices from chicken companies.
In South Carolina, the poultry industry is pushing a version of a bill that passed the state House of Representatives a few years ago but stalled in the state Senate. This time, the bill's been introduced in the Senate, most likely to get the fight out of the way first before moving to the more receptive House, said state Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter.
The proposal, nicknamed the "right to farm" bill, bans local governments from passing more stringent requirements than the state's for most farming operations.
Reaching new peaks of performance
Every year, the death toll on North Carolina chicken farms easily tops 25 million carcasses, Department of Agriculture data show. Getting rid of the dead is a smelly and time-consuming chore, and it poses an environmental threat that is rarely discussed.
On most chicken farms, the birds go into a mass grave that could pollute groundwater, an incinerator that belches putrid smoke or a compost bin that takes weeks to turn them into fertilizer.
Now, Farmer David Mayer says he has a better way: a machine that reduces dead chickens to sterile ash without a single unpleasant odor. The process is called gasification. He is hoping the technology will catch on as poultry farming continues to grow.
In Canada, several national agriculture groups are calling on the federal Trade minister to step up negotiations with some of the country's traditional trading partners in an effort to stay competitive with the US.
Nine organizations, including the Canadian Wheat Board and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, sent David Emerson a letter earlier this week asking him to speed up bilateral talks with several countries the groups consider a priority.
"You can't let the Americans get ahead of you in those markets and have their goods subjected to a lower tariff than Canadian goods or you lose those markets, or you lose a lot of money." said CWB's chief trade representative.
Hybro Asia presented its 2nd Edition of the Counterparts’ Seminar Series, with delegates travelling from all over Asia to take part in the three-day programme, held in Bangkok, Thailand.
With “Think meat...think broiler” as the theme for this year’s programme, Hybro attracted production managers and technical professionals from The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, China and India to participate in this interactive course on modern broiler management.
Visit Safe-Poultry.com and learn about salmonella in poultry
We have 4 new features this week
Chickens, Trees and Farmers - an Experiment in Mutual Benefit
By Marian Stamp Dawkins, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford - Unlike adult laying hens, broiler or meat chickens are juveniles and most of them are killed when they are less than six weeks old. People like to see them ranging outside and enjoying the fresh air so that it is decidedly disappointing if, when they are given access to an outside area, they then don't make much use of it, as sometimes happens.
DAHS Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza Series - No. 3
By DuPont Animal Health Solutions - With the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation warning that Avian Influenza (AI) could become endemic in Turkey, many neighbouring countries are taking preventative action.
Poultry and Egg Statistics 2005
By Statistics Canada - This publication provides data on the production, supply and disposition and value of poultry meat and eggs. Also included are data on the average price of eggs sold for table consumption, the per capita disappearance and consumption of poultry meats and eggs, and the production and stocks of processed eggs.
Development of the U.S. and EU Organic Agricultural Sectors
By Amber Waves, Economic Research Service, USDA - Organic markets in the European Union member states and the U.S. are nearly the same size in terms of retail sales. At the same time, their farm sectors differ significantly, with the EU-15 member states having more organic farmland and more organic operations than the U.S.
Vencomatic - Complete Solutions in Poultry Equipment
That's all for this week!
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