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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 15th May 2006

Monday 15th May 2006
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*Latest News (link to all this weeks news)

This week we start in Indonesia, where the government is investigating the source of H5N1 avian flu infection which involved eight members of an extended family, the agriculture minister said today. Four of the eight people from a North Sumatra family have died of bird flu, according to local tests, while one person who has tested positive is undergoing treatment.

In Malaysia, the poultry industry lost RM1.5bil in two months due to the bird flu scare, which caused chicken prices to plunge. An industry spokesman said bird flu cases reported in Selangor, Perak and Penang in March caused sales of chicken to drop by between 20% and 30%.

After five human deaths and 20 million culled birds, Egyptians are returning to chicken as their main source of animal protein, creating a supply crunch as slaughter houses struggle to meet the resurgent demand, reports Reuters.

Djibouti said on Thursday that one person had tested positive for the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus in the first confirmed human case in the Horn of Africa.

In Eastern Japan, 16 people in Ibaraki prefecture, may have been infected with the less virulent H5N2 strain of avian influenza, Kyodo News reported yesterday, citing test results. The number of people having been suspected of H5N2 infections in Japan thus rose to 93. Several outbreaks of H5N2 strain occurred in poultry farms around the region last year.

In this weeks China Broiler Weekly, eFeedLink report that broiler prices gave up initial gains of the week-long Labour Day holidays, ending mostly lower towards the close of the holiday period.
     This was unlike a year ago, when broiler prices remained firm throughout the holiday season. China's broiler prices are not expected to pick up in the near term.

Despite its ongoing battle with the deadly avian influenza virus, China is on track to begin exporting processed, cooked chicken to the US this month for the first time. But members of Congress, concerned about public health, are looking to prevent those exports from reaching the US, report Delaware online.

In the US, Tyson Foods Inc., the world’s largest meat producer, said last week that its tracking surveys have found no drop in US consumer confidence in poultry despite the spread in other parts of the world of a deadly strain of bird flu.
     To make sure things stay that way, Tyson is distributing information about safety precautions that it is taking together with the U.S. poultry industry to detect and stamp out the flu virus if it makes it to North America.

US residents eat meat an average of 4.2 times a week, and most want assurances it was raised humanely and without antibiotics, a new survey found. The main considerations for U.S. residents who put meat on the menu are flavor, safety and humane treatment of animals, said Texas-based Whole Foods Market, which sponsored the survey.

In South Carolina, chicken lobbyists scored a big victory Thursday in their decade-long fight to loosen regulation of mega-poultry farms. A key House committee voted 15-1 to ban county laws that separate large chicken farms from neighborhoods, churches and schools.

Reaching new peaks of performance
Reaching new peaks of performance

In Maine, a federal proposal to identify every farm animal in the nation through traditional methods such as tattoos and ear tags, or embedded microchips that can be scanned electronically, has generated a firestorm of criticism, according to VillageSoup.

Visitors to the Koontz chicken farm in northern Virginia must suit up in battle gear - shower caps, overalls, latex gloves and disinfected boots, according to Reuters. The safety measures are all part of the ongoing battle to keep bird flu out of the U.S. chicken flock.

Canada is stepping up efforts to prepare for a potential bird flu pandemic, health officials said on Saturday, as a new outbreak of the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus in poultry was discovered in Romania. Canada's plans include boosting its stockpile of antiviral drugs to 55 million doses from 16 million doses by about mid-2007 and sharing of resources and supplies among provinces in a public health emergency.

Defying the dire predictions of health officials, the flocks of migratory birds that flew south to Africa last fall, then back over Europe in recent weeks did not carry the deadly bird flu virus or spread it during their annual journey, scientists have concluded.
     International health officials had feared that the disease was likely to spread to Africa during the southward migration and return to Europe with a vengeance during the reverse migration this spring. That has not happened - a significant finding for Europe, because it is far easier to monitor a virus that exists domestically on farms but not in the wild.

L.I.R. - Going from strength to strength
L.I.R. - Going from strength to strength

In Romania, the H5 bird flu virus was detected in 50 birds found dead on Friday, officials said, less than a month after the virus was said to have been eradicated from the country. The new outbreak in Hurezu village is the 53rd to have been found in the country, according to Recombinomics.

In France, researchers report that a preliminary vaccine for the H5N1 strain of bird flu appears to be safe and produced an immune response in healthy people. It's not clear, however, that the vaccine would work in a real-life situation, or if it would be effective against other strains of avian flu, reports Forbes.

In the UK, government chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds has been lobbied by poultry breeders to reconsider the decision not to vaccinate some flocks against avian influenza. Janet Houghton-Wallace of Turkey UK, which represents breeders, told Dr Reynolds that the UK could lose valuable bloodlines should a widespread cull take place.

A report launched last week by the NFU says the British chicken industry is not financially sustainable. The NFU warns that the British chicken industry, worth £3 billion at retail, and the strongest in Europe, will not survive in the current climate.
     Over the last few years farmers have experienced continuous downward price pressure whilst input costs like energy and labour have increased. The NFU says a price increase is the only way to secure continued production of British farm-assured Red Tractor chicken for UK consumers.

At least one UK poultry processor plans to cut capacity and farmers are calling for higher payments as the industry is hit by bird flu and cheaper imports. The spread of the virus in domestic poultry in the UK has heightened public fears about safety. Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer, has previously said its poultry sales fell 5% when the first UK case was confirmed in the wild duck last month.

VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant
VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant

In Ireland, 6000 chickens are to be slaughtered on Tuesday using gas in an exercise to test plans for a possible outbreak of bird flu, reports the irish Times. The chickens will be destroyed in Kilmeedy, Co Limerick, using CO2 gas pumped into their poultry houses. They are past the end of their productive life and deemed suitable for the exercise, a Department of Agriculture spokesman said.

Fears that the deadly strain of bird flu would move through Africa and Europe in flocks of wild birds have so far proved unfounded, but the danger is not entirely over, a Dutch environmental group said last Thursday.
     Experts from Wetlands International tested 5,000 wild birds in countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Senegal, Malawi and Kenya but didn't find the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, which is often fatal in humans, said Ward Hagemeijer, who studies the disease for the organization.

Company news

Pas Reform's next generation, single-stage Smart incubation system is rapidly being established worldwide, as a premier solution to meeting the three key challenges facing commercial hatcheries: genetic progress, post-hatch performance and uniformity. And in 2006, Pas Reform will push the boundaries of performance still further, to meet new challenges and set standards for uniformity on every level in the modern hatchery.

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

*This Week's Feature Articles

We have 5 new features this week

Trouble Shooting Failures with Egg Incubation
By Mississippi State University - When incubation of eggs fails, indications are often available that a well trained professional uses for diagnosing the causes for failure. The report includes the more common symptoms for incubation failures, the causes for each symptom, and the recommended corrective measures.
Egg Grading
By The Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Grade requirements are set for eggs to protect the consuming public from undue risk. In grading eggs, the factors of interior quality, weight, cleanliness and shell construction are considered. These factors are related to safety, wholesomeness and quality. Eggs are graded in a registered egg station to ensure they are handled and packed in a sanitary environment.
Avian Vibrionic Hepatitis - Avian infectious hepatitis "spotty livers in laying hen"
By David G S Burch BVetMed MRCVS, Octagon Services Ltd - The condition was described first in 1954, as a chronic degeneration of the liver characterised by low morbidity and variable mortality in caged egg-producing flocks. Further cases, with 10% morbidity, 35% depression of egg production and a cumulative flock mortality of 15% were also reported in mature laying hens in the USA.
A Review of the Chicken Food Chain
By SafeFood - In early 2005, safefood decided that a review of the chicken food chain could bring clarity to a number of questions and consumer concerns surrounding the food safety and production methods associated with this commodity. The review also looked at the nutritional properties of chicken.
REPORT: British Chicken – What Price?
This report, drafted by the NFU in consultation with the BPC, sets out the minimum criteria needed for the British chicken industry to keep the present self sufficiency level and maintain a modern industry with the critical mass to meet customers demands for local home-produced chicken.

Click here for the latest news and information on Gumboro disease
Click here for the latest news on Gumboro

That's all for this week!

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