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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 22nd March 2004's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 22nd March 2004
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in the Netherlands where health authorities have culled 600 ducks on a farm after tests showed that they had developed anti-bodies for bird flu, the Ministry of Agriculture said.
See Also:
Dutch cull birds in 3rd bird flu concern
Avian Flu in the EU

Singapore has suspended all imports of poultry and birds from the Netherlands after bird flu was discovered there according to Reuters. "We have received a report that there is a positive diagnosis of avian influenza in the Netherlands," the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore said in a statement.

The European Commission for Health and Consumer Protection is preparing a Contingency Plan, which sets out a series of steps to be taken by Member States and the EC to address the threat of an influenza pandemic. The Commission states that an influenza pandemic is likely to occur and that it is a matter of when not if, reports the USDA's FAS.

Asian countries that declare victory over avian influenza should base such statements on in-depth investigations, FAO and OIE urged in a joint statement. "The crisis is still not over," FAO and OIE warned. "In countries such as Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, further outbreaks could still flare up.

Vietnam's hopes of declaring an official end to its bird flu crisis at the end of this month have been dealt a blow with the announcement that a 12-year-old boy had died from the disease, according to ChannelNewsAsia.
See Also: Vietnam 'almost bird flu free'

The northern Vietnamese provinces of Vinh Phuc and Bac Ninh on Thursday announced themselves free of bird flu. No outbreaks of bird flu have been reported in Bac Ninh province for over one month and trading of poultry has resumed in Vinh Phuc province, according to VNAgency.

Japanese poultry and pork processors will offer the same product traceability to their retail customers and consumers that they currently offer for beef. Nippon Meat Packers will enable customers via the Internet to pinpoint the farms where its chickens and hogs were raised and to find other information, such as feeds and vaccines used in raising the animals, reports MeatingPlace.

Research by a Japanese institute shows that the gene sequence of the bird flu virus found in Japan and that found in South Korea are virtually the same, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday. The Institute studied the viruses found in one outbreak in South Korea in early December and four in Japan, Reuters reports.

Just as business seemed to be taking off, ostrich farm operators in Japan were faced with a big problem: how to safeguard the large birds from the contagious avian flu virus. Hardy ostriches are raised in open, free-range pens, where it is difficult to keep them from coming into contact with wild birds, suspected carriers of the deadly virus.

China became the latest Asian country to claim success in curbing the AI epidemic last Tuesday, saying it had "stamped out" the disease in all 49 places where it was reported. However, both the Chinese agriculture ministry and the WHO warned that bird flu could spread again.

In the US, Maryland agriculture officials announced negative test results for avian flu on the state's poultry farms. The University of Delaware reported that all testing of poultry farms within a 6-mile zone around a single AI infected farm near Pocomoke City have tested negative. The Pocomoke City farm tested positive for avian flu early last month.

The FDA moved a step closer this week to banning the use of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic in poultry on the ground that the drug promotes the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can harm human health. Drug maker Bayer lost an appeal Tuesday against the banning of Baytril.

In Canada, there is no evidence that the bird flu outbreak has spread beyond the two British Columbia farms where it has already been found, reports Reuters."We have excellent intelligence on the ground out there, because the entire poultry industry and farming community dealing with poultry are on the lookout," said Cornelius Kiley, a CFIA veterinarian.

US and European officials disagreed at the recent World Trade Meeting over an American ban on meat items such as sausages, hams, and foie gras. The ban followed visits to 11 French exporters by American farm officials who deemed some French foods unsafe. But the French farms minister insists food standards are higher in France. If the ban were extended it could damage France-US trade worth more than 20m euros ($25m; £13.3m) annually, according to estimates.

In Britain, a survey of UK-produced eggs has found that the level of salmonella contamination is now one third of what it was in 1996. Poultry producers hope that the findings will go some way to allaying consumer fears over poultry products, reports FoodNavigator.

That's all for this week.

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