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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 4th May 2004's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 4th May 2004
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

This week we start in Geneva, where the WHO is hosting a three-day consultation to identify the factors that allow diseases to jump from animals to humans (zoonoses), as well as to improve surveillance systems for their monitoring and control. This follows recent cases of SARS and avian influenza, both of which originated in animals and resulted in human deaths.

The European Commission came under renewed pressure to step up labelling laws for poultry products to restore consumer confidence following the bird flu crisis. At a summit held in Brussels, MEPs, scientists and representatives from the industry argued that goods should be clearly marked with their country of origin.

In the UK, pigs and chickens that glow in the dark may signal a new era for the farm yard. UK scientists at the Roslin Institute say they have dramatically improved the technique for introducing modifications to an animal's genetic make-up. The researchers have used the new method to introduce a jellyfish gene that makes their pigs and chickens fluoresce - to prove changes will work.

The multi-million-pound prices war waged by the big three supermarket chains must not lead to cuts in the price paid to farmers for their produce, the Farmers Union of Wales demanded. Tesco slashed £70 million from its retail prices recently, just days after arch rival Asda announced cuts worth £65 million, reports MeatNews. Farmers are worried a price war will lead to further erosion of their already wafer thin margins.

The UK Government has expressed regret at the failure by EU Ministers to agree improvements to the welfare of farm animals in transit, according to Defra. The UK was one of a number of countries that felt the package of proposed measures did not go far enough.

NFU President Tim Bennett has launched a groundbreaking research paper, ‘EU Enlargement – The Challenge for British Farming,’ that looks in detail at the challenges facing the UK farming industry as ten new countries have joined the EU on May 1st.

In Canada, a commercial duck farm in Chilliwack is under suspicion of having the avian flu, representing potentially the first evidence of the virus in that domestic species and in that region of the Fraser Valley since the disease outbreak occurred more than two months ago in chickens.
     Despite strict quarantine measures and the cull of 19 million birds, avian flu is still marching across western Canada, and has now infected nearly 50 farms, FoodIngredientsFirst said last Tuesday. Six new flocks have in recent days tested positive for the H7N3 virus said the report.

In the US, a gene that may play a key role in regulating feed intake and energy expenditure in turkeys has been sequenced by Agricultural Research Service scientists. The gene codes for the production of ghrelin, a hormone that affects appetite in birds and mammals. It is hoped the finding will help researchers improve poultry breeding and management practices.

Proteins from harmless microorganisms can reduce Campylobacter and other pathogenic bacteria in poultry intestines, a team of ARS and Russian scientists has discovered. This is the first treatment used in the last 25 years to achieve a significant reduction of Campylobacter in research trials on chickens, according to the ARS.

The outbreak of bird flu in British Columbia has edged closer to the border with the US, prompting the US government to send a team of veterinarians to Washington state to monitor the situation. “The last confirmed case was a quarter mile from the US-Canadian border,” a spokeswoman for the Washington state Department of Agriculture said.

A California Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would ban the sale and production of foie gras in that state. The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco, seeks to ban the sale of foie gras produced through force-feeding and impose a daily $1,000 fine on those who make it, starting in 2011.

Tyson Foods, the world's largest meat company, posted a 65% increase in second-quarter profit, despite trade restrictions that limited poultry and beef sales. "The (chicken) bans...have gone on longer than we would have expected, but progress is being made in getting them open," said a Tyson spokesman. "We expect Hong Kong, China and Japan to lift their bans within the next 60 days.".

Hong Kong, the No. 3 buyer of U.S. chicken, has lifted a three-month ban on American poultry that was imposed due to fears of bird flu disease, the USDA said. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said Hong Kong would resume purchasing U.S. poultry from all states except Texas.

In Japan, the Kyoto prefectural government pressured Hideaki Asada, president of the Asada Nosan poultry firm, to sign over to it the compensation he was entitled to receive for losses caused by the bird flu outbreak at the firm's poultry farm in Tanbacho in the prefecture, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Saturday.
     This follows Asada indictment in on suspicion of failing to report an outbreak of bird flu at the firm's Funai Farm in Tanbacho.
     Asada Nosan, the company that operates a chicken farm at the center of a bird flu cover-up scandal has dismissed some 200 employees and shut down its business, officials of the company said Friday, according to Japan Today.

On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of chickens slaughtered as a result of bird flu were honored at a solemn ceremony arranged by the Agriculture Ministry and the poultry industry. “We want to express our regret to chickens for having to kill them, while also giving thanks to them for providing us with food,” said Hideyuki Shimada, a director at the Japan Poultry Association.

In Thailand, a new outbreak of bird flu has forced Thai officials to delay for the fourth time an announcement that the country is free of bird flu, report Thailand must now wait until a new 21-day monitoring period expires May 10 to make an all-clear announcement.

In India, Bengal’s poultry industry, yet to recover from the staggering Rs 2 crore per day losses suffered during the bird-flu phase earlier this year, feels that the demand-supply mismatch could aggravate in the days ahead, forcing prices, which are already at record highs, even higher.

More than a third of the small poultry farms in Bangladesh have gone out of production since January in the wake of bird flu rumour, farm owners said. Bangladesh poultry farms were free from the disease that affected mostly southeast Asian countries, but a rumour caused a slump in chicken and egg demands in the country.

In Pakistan, Poultry prices have skyrocketed since the bird flu scare spread in the city, affecting the poultry industry and forcing farmers to clear their stocks by bringing down supplies, said industry sources.

In Nigera, a consultant, Dr. Babatunde Bello has asked the Federal Government to reverse its decision on the ban placed on the importation of poultry products into the country. Bello who spoke at the Poultry Partners' Forum with the theme "Profit Enhancing Strategies in Modern Poultry Production", said the government's action on the matter should have been gradual.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

In this new regular newsletter section we aim to provide a brief overview of the new Feature articles that have been added to the site over the past week.

We have 2 new features this week

Manure into Energy and Ash - New Gasification Technology
By Theo van Kempen, Swine Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University - Animal Science swine waste researchers at North Carolina State University has been evaluating gasification technology. The primary purpose was conversion of animal manure into an energy source and mineral ash that could be used as a feed ingredient for pigs.

Contract Broiler Production: Questions and Answers
Prepared by Dan Cunningham, Extension Leader, Poultry Science, University of Georgia - This article answers a series of questions regarding the contract broiler production industry and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the contract system for growers.

That's all for this week.

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