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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 27th March 2006

Monday 27th March 2006
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*Latest News (link to all this weeks news)

This week we start in Pakistan, where consumption of poultry has declined sharply after the presence of deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus in the country was confirmed, officials said Saturday.
     "According to our rough estimates, demand for chicken meat and its products has declined by 40-45%" said an official at the Poultry Research Institute.

The poultry industry in Chitwan, one of the largest in Nepal, is on the verge of collapse reports the Peoples Daily . Statistics reveal that chicken consumption, which used to hover at around 150,000 kg per day, has dropped by almost 80% as a result of bird flu.

In Jordan, the Minister of Health, Saeed Darwazeh confirmed on Friday that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had been detected, the first such outbreak in the country.
     Darwazeh said that lab tests of samples from dead birds found Thursday on a private farm north of the capital Amman, were positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus. The minister stressed that there was no human case in the country and that the spread of the disease was under control.

In Palestine, the World Bank will donate $2 million to help contain an outbreak of the deadly avian flu, a bank official said on Saturday. Contagions were discovered in two Gaza chicken farms this week, the first cases in Palestinian-ruled areas.
     However, the culling of the poultry has been held up, with the owners insisting they be guaranteed compensation. The World Bank official said the pledge followed requests by the Palestinian Authority and humanitarian agencies.

Vietnam, where bird flu has been contained for nearly three months, has ordered a new crackdown on poultry smuggling from neighbouring China to keep out healthy looking birds which may carry the H5N1 virus.
     Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat, in an urgent message seen on Thursday, ordered authorities in all Vietnam's 64 cities to act against smuggling.

In China, the Ministry of Health said investigators are trying to determine how a 29-year-old woman who died in Shanghai was infected with avian influenza.
     The woman, identified only by her surname Li, died on March 21, eight days after she first developed symptoms, Xinhua reports. The deadly H5N1 strain of the virus has been confirmed.

Imports of live chickens from Guangdong resumed Sunday after a three-week suspension following a human infection of avian flu in the province.
     Hong Kong health authorities reduced the daily import quota by one third to 20,000 mainland chickens. They'll be available for sale in markets on Monday. The import of live poultry from Guangdong was banned after a man died of bird flu in Guangzhou on March 5

The spread of avian influenza to at least 29 new countries in the last seven weeks - one of the biggest outbreaks of the virus since it emerged nine years ago - is prompting a sobering reassessment of the strategy that has guided efforts to contain the disease so far, reports the LA Times.
     Since February, the virus has cut a wide swath across the globe, felling tens of thousands of birds in Nigeria, Israel, India, Sweden and elsewhere. Health officials in the United States say bird flu is likely to arrive in North America this year, carried by wild birds migrating thousands of miles to their summer breeding grounds.

Reaching new peaks of performance
Reaching new peaks of performance

In Egypt, Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali announced on Sunday that a new suspected case of human bird flu had been found in the country's Nile delta region. The 18-year-old girl, who had come into contact with dead birds, started to show bird flu symptoms on Thursday. The latest case brought to five the total number of suspected human bird flu cases in the populous north African country.

Slovenia's Veterinary Administration said on Saturday tests had shown there was no bird flu virus in domestic poultry in the country.
     Slovenia suspected its first case of bird flu in domestic animals on Monday after 10 out of 14 hens died overnight at a small farm in the northeast of the country. "Laboratory tests showed hens did not die from the avian influenza virus," the administration said in a statement.

In the US, while industry and government efforts are showing progress in battling contamination by other pathogens, USDA statistics indicate there has been a steady increase in Salmonella contamination in poultry over the last five years.
     The latest data on poultry contamination compiled by the Food Safety and Inspection Service shows that about 16% of poultry tested positive for Salmonella last year - an 80% increase since 2000. The highest rates of contamination were found in ground turkey and broiler chickens.

Maine, the closest US state to migration routes for birds coming from Europe, will soon test ducks, geese, loons and other birds for avian flu as the United States steps up preparations for the possible spread of the disease to North America.
     Maine is modeling its plan after Alaska, where many expect the first U.S. case of bird flu to be detected, reports Reuters. With four million domestic birds, Maine is the nation's leading producer of brown eggs, Hoenig said. In 2004, Maine's brown eggs generated $61 million in sales.

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Farmers may soon have to open their gates to allow the state of Oklahoma to test for pollutants. A federal magistrate granted Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson's request to sample soil, chicken litter and water on farms in Oklahoma and Arkansas at a hearing Thursday in that state's lawsuit against 14 poultry companies over water quality in the Illinois River watershed.
     "I believe the judge recognized the importance of the issues raised by contaminated runoff and the necessity to begin testing this spring," Edmondson said. Edmondson said the tests will likely not start for at least a week.

Scientists say they have found a reason why bird flu is not spreading easily from person to person: The virus concentrates itself too deep in the respiratory tract to be spewed out by coughing and sneezing.
     Experts said the new finding does not indicate how likely such a pandemic is. More than 180 people are known to have been infected with the bird flu virus H5N1. Virtually all are believed to have caught it from infected poultry.

Smart-tek, a company based in British Columbia, has successfully completed a test by using RFID tags to track birds in China, with an aim toward following the spread of bird flu.
     Smart-tek officials believe that they have convinced the more than 50 government and industry experts who attended the recent demonstration. If this kind of system does its job, it could help prevent what many health officials fear could become a pandemic, they say.

Farming poses the biggest threat to fresh water supplies, according to a major United Nations report. Agriculture was consuming more water as the world population increased and as people turned to a Western diet, one of the scientists on the report said.
     Farms use two-thirds of fresh water taken from aquifers and other sources. The UN concludes that ending subsidies on pesticides and fertilisers, and realistic pricing on water, would reduce demand and pollution.

VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant
VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant

Poultry sales have continued a patchy recovery across Europe as a dwindling number of new bird flu cases have shifted the media spotlight away from the virus, calming consumer fears, officials said.
     Sales are still weak in some regions and experts warn that the spring migration of wildfowl from Africa could soon bring fresh cases to Europe. The European Commission has urged farmers to cut back production in order to shore up weak sales, but has yet to offer any financial compensation.
     Analysts have said the sector was losing up to €300 million a month a few weeks ago. European Union governments are expected to draw up rules on measures to support prices next month. In France, which has a €6 billion poultry industry, the largest in the EU, sales are now around seven to 10 per cent down on the same period last year.

Company news

The official opening of the new Cobb Europe regional office at Colchester brought together the world's oldest poultry breeding organisation with the oldest recorded town in Britain. The Cobb breed is this year 90 years old while Colchester has a proud history stretching back to Roman times.

Because of the threat of a pandemic flu, possibly from avian influenza, authorities world wide are increasing their stocks of flu vaccine. Today’s flu vaccines are developed in fertile chicken eggs.
     Companies in vaccine producing countries are expanding their production facilities. In February, Dutch Poultry equipment manufacturer, Vencomatic, has sold another 13 Veranda houses in Japan for this vaccine egg production.

Vencomatic - Complete Solutions in Poultry Equipment
Complete Solutions in Poultry Equipment

*This Week's Feature Articles

We have 4 new features this week

Unlocking the yolk sac as a ready-made lunch box
By Ron Meijerhof, Senior Technical Specialist, Hybro B.V., Boxmeer, The Netherlands - A main energy source for the developing embryo is the yolk sac which. As the embryo grows and uses more yolk, so the yolk sac reduces in size. In simple terms, the yolk is actually being converted into embryo, and the more embryonic development we see during incubation, the less yolk there will be left over at hatching.

Finding Solutions to Campylobacter in Poultry Production
By Sharon Durham, USDA's Agricultural Research Service - Sometimes a solution to a problem can be both easy and difficult, particularly when dealing with foodborne disease. When food is properly cooked and handled, bacterial contamination is not usually an issue. But mistakes can be made, and contaminated foods may accidentally be consumed.

Poultry Health - Keeping Diseases Out
By Ian Roth, Manager Field Veterinary Services and Product Integrity, Surveillance and Biosecurity Operations, Orange - This Primefact provides a brief overview of the importance of knowing your cost of production, and benchmarking to monitor business profitability plus how to use financial ratios to gauge future viability.

UK Poultry and Poultrymeat Statistics - March 2006
By Defra - This monthly publication combines information from the UK Hatcheries Survey and Poultry Slaughterhouse Survey results together with other Defra statistics, and trade data, pulling all ‘official’ poultry statistics in one publication.

Ross Breeders - Generations of innovations
Ross Breeders - Generations of innovations

That's all for this week!

Ed.


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