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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 2nd May 2006

Tuesday 2nd May 2006
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*Latest News (link to all this weeks news)

This week we start in the UK, where the Norfolk farming industry has been dealt another blow following news that two more poultry farms had tested positive for avian flu.
     Defra had yet to confirm the results of preliminary testing on the two new sites, both in North Tuddenham, but said the indications were that this was the low pathogenic H7N3 strain discovered at Whitford Lodge Farm last week.

Infected faeces from a wild bird carried into a chicken shed on a workman’s boot are thought to be the most likely source of the bird flu outbreak on the Norfolk farm, reports The Times.
     Such a breach in biosecurity will be of major concern to Britain’s £3 billion-a-year poultry industry, which prides itself on the strict hygiene, cleansing and disinfecting standards observed on commercial farms.

A 1,000 square mile quarantine zone to combat an outbreak of bird flu was lifted in Scotland today - despite the spread of a similar disease south of the border.
     Strict controls over the movement of poultry have been in place over the vast tract of eastern Scotland since April 5, when the potentially deadly H5N1 virus was confirmed in a dead swan at Cellardyke on the Fife Coast.
     Poultry farmers were told to keep wildbirds under cover within the 1,000 sq mile "wild bird risk" area, while a six mile surveillance area was imposed around the seaside village.

Government scientists at a Yorkshire laboratory are poised to help with Britain's bird flu outbreak. The Central Science Laboratory, an agency of Defra, have put 20 people on standby after a poultry worker at a Norfolk farm contracted the H7 strain of avian flu, in the form of the eye disorder conjunctivitis.
     The worker was based at Witford Lodge Farm at Hockering, where 35,000 chickens have been slaughtered.

MPs last night hit back at Japan and Hong Kong's decision to ban British poultry imports because of bird flu. Defra confirmed Monday that Hong Kong and Japan had stopped importing British birds and said that this was against international trade rules because the outbreaks were only low pathogenic bird flu.

The Netherlands lifted its order shielding domestic poultry from contact with wild birds on Monday, as the threat of avian flu infections subsided, the Dutch agriculture ministry said.
     "The main reason for lifting the ban is that most migratory birds have passed the Netherlands," said ministry spokesman Hans Blom. "We considered migratory birds as the main risk for infecting poultry."

The Swiss government said on Wednesday that it would lift the two-and-a-half month outdoor ban on poultry as of May 1, thanks to the reduced risk of bird flu. It is now safe for farmers to allow their chickens outside again since not a single case of avian flu has been reported this month, said a government statement.

The European Commission reports it is well on track to fully mobilize €100 million pledged at the Beijing conference to combat Avian Influenza around the world, ahead of the target date. Funds pledged will help poorer countries tackle Bird flu in the animal population, and increase preparedness for a possible human pandemic.

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

In Macedonia, a man admitted to hospital with fever is being tested for possible bird flu because he keeps pigeons, according to Reuters. Macedonia has not had a confirmed case of bird flu in either wild fowl or poultry, but all its Balkan neighbours have announced the highly dangerous H5N1 strain of the avian virus is present in their territories.

Ten domestic hens have died from suspected bird flu in a village in central Kazakhstan, an emergency official said Wednesday. Recombinomics suggest that this outbreak may signal an early arrival of H5N1 as birds migrate north to Siberia. The migration north will also likely lead to detection and reporting of H5N1 in western Europe and North America, they say.

Researchers from five Asian countries are tackling the question of whether to vaccinate birds against avian flu in a study launched today by a Canadian aid agency. Public-health officials from China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand will take part in the $1-million study funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre, said Stephen McGurk, the centre's regional director for Southeast and East Asia.

China has denied covering up human bird flu cases after a US-based newspaper said local officials may be hiding suspected infections from the central government and that the country's death toll could be higher than the 12 reported.
     "We must clarify that China has not been concealing any confirmed or suspected human cases of bird flu since the first case occurred in November of last year," Ministry of Health spokesman Mao Qun'an said in an interview. It was a rare official response to reports by foreign media.

VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant
VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant

The Chinese mainland has resumed the export of day-old chicks to Hong Kong nearly two months after the special administrative region suspended such imports to prevent the spread of bird flu. The first batch of 10,000 chicks arrived in Hong Kong Friday to meet the demand of local chicken farmers, an official with Guangdong Administration of Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine said Saturday.

In this weeks China Broiler Market Weekly, eFeedLink report that prices mixed; pre-holiday demand stays lacklustre. In the week ahead, broiler prices are not expected to rise significantly unless demand pick up strongly in the few days prior to the Labour Day holidays. In regions where broiler prices are high, some downward movements are expected.

Japan plans to spend $30 million to stockpile Roche Holding AG's Tamiflu in Singapore to help bolster efforts to stop the spread of avian influenza should a pandemic among humans start in Southeast Asia.
     Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, will stockpile 500,000 courses of Tamiflu, which may be used to treat the disease, and 700,000 protective kits for people at risk of contracting bird flu, Mitoji Yabunaka, Japan's deputy minister for foreign affairs, told reporters in Jakarta last week.

An Indonesian man whose death was attributed to H5N1 avian influenza will bring Indonesia's death toll from the virus to 25, if his case is confirmed outside the country. The man reportedly had come into contact with his neighbor's infected chickens in Tangerang, 25 miles west of Jakarta, according to CNN.
     Samples from the man tested positive for H5N1 in an Indonesian laboratory. Confirmatory testing is under way at a World Health Organization reference lab in Hong Kong.

Reaching new peaks of performance
Reaching new peaks of performance

In Pakistan, the H5N1 strain of avian influenza has struck the ninth poultry farm as authorities struggled to contain the spread of the deadly virus at poorly maintained facilities, officials said Monday. The authorities culled 16,000 birds Sunday at the poultry farm in Pindi Bhattian district in the Punjab province, about 220 km south of the capital.
     Commissioner of livestock and animal husbandry, Muhammad Afzal, said the chickens were killed after tests confirmed the presence of the disease at the farm.

In the US, shares of leading poultry companies tumbled on Thursday after top importer Russia revoked import licenses for poultry, but U.S. chicken industry officials said the revocation may be temporary.
     The US exports about 15% of its chicken production and JP Morgan food analyst Pablo Zuanic said Russia takes about a third of that. The import ban by Russia comes on top of the effects of bird flu crisis overseas on chicken exports.

Carl Musser raises more than 300,000 chickens a year on his Stevens farm. He stashes his “chicken clothes” in the basement. A disinfectant foot wash is at the entrance to his broiler houses. Farm visitors can’t miss a biosecurity warning sign.
     Musser said large poultry farmers have employed strict biosecurity measures like these for years and if avian influenza shows up, those practices would be intensified. But what about owners of small poultry flocks?

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

Smithfield Foods Inc said Friday it expects its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings to fall far short of Wall Street’s expectations due to plummeting hog prices. The company blamed its weakening pork margins on a "protein oversupply" in the U.S. market, which analysts say is actually a glut of chicken products.
     Last week, poultry producer Tyson Foods Inc. predicted a larger-than-expected loss in the second quarter and reduced its guidance for the full year.

Faced with the prospect of avian flu arriving in the United States, Delaware and Maryland's soybean growers joined with Delmarva's poultry industry Monday to promote chicken as safe to eat. Delaware and Maryland's $1.3 billion poultry industry is struggling because consumers abroad, scared of catching avian flu, are avoiding chicken, much of which is exported from the United States. Industry officials fear that U.S. consumers also may avoid chicken if the virus reaches migratory birds here.

In Canada, an animal rights group in Halifax is crying foul over what it describes as cruel treatment of egg-laying hens. But Nova Scotia egg producers say the protesters are simply uninformed, and the welfare of hens is their top priority. The complaints focus on the use of battery cages - small wire cages that are used to house groups of hens on commercial egg farms.

*This Week's Feature Articles

We have 3 new features this week

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.
Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza
By DuPont Animal Health Solutions - The leading international biosecurity experts, DAHS are currently focusing on the global effort to prevent and contain the spread of Avian Influenza by providing poultry farmers worldwide with a practical "Avian Influenza Best Practice Series".
Guide for Prospective Contract Broiler Producers
By Dan L. Cunningham, Department of Poultry Science, The University of Georgia - Georgia ranks as one of the top poultry growing areas in the United States, producing more than 7 billion pounds of chicken meat annually.

Visit and learn about salmonella in poultry
More 0n Nobilis SG9R

That's all for this week!

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