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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 23rd August 2004's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 23rd August 2004
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

Due to next Monday (30th August) being a Bank Holiday in the UK, next week's newsletter will be sent out on Tuesday 31st August. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

This week we start in China, where it was announced on Friday that scientists had made the first ever discovery of the deadly strain of bird flu in pigs, a development that could have ominous implications for efforts to restrict the disease's spread to humans.
     However, today China said it had tested more than 11 million pigs and found no evidence any were carrying a strain of bird flu responsible for 27 deaths across Asia this year. Scientists fear that human and bird flu viruses could mix in pigs and form a strain more easily transmittable to humans.
     The ministry, which did not directly refute the scientists claim, said it found no infected pigs when it conducted tests early this year in the midst of a bird flu outbreak in the southern provinces.

The Thai government on Sunday warned producers to rear swine and poultry separately so as to avoid possible mutation of the avian influenza virus, local press reported on Monday. Though there has never been a confirmed case of swine infection with the bird flu virus strain of H5N1, the Public Health Ministry sounded the requirement for separate raising as a precaution.

Vietnam is imposing stringent measures to contain a second outbreak of bird flu, which promises to unsettle the poultry and feed industries just as they were showing signs of recovery, a senior Vietnamese trade official said. Outbreaks in Vietnam, Thailand, China and Indonesia in the last month have reignited fears that the illness could sweep across Asia once more, just months after a mass culling campaign of tens of millions of poultry.

Malaysia appears to be that latest Asian country to suffer following a government announcement yesterday that they too had discovered an outbreak of Bird Flu, leading to hundreds of birds being gassed and their carcasses burnt to contain the outbreak. Two chickens that died in a northern village near the Thai border were found to be infected with the deadly H5N1 strain in Malaysia's first bird-flu outbreak, said the Agriculture Ministry.
     Malaysia pledged honesty as it scrambled to contain the outbreak of bird flu, with poultry producers facing big losses and their stock prices dropping. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said the government would reveal all facts about the outbreak in a transparent manner following confusion over an apparent attempt to muzzle the local press.
     The unexpected discovery of H5N1 bird flu in Malaysia after summer cases elsewhere in Southeast Asia indicated a major winter outbreak was likely, international health experts said on Friday. "The probability of the continuation of the outbreak is relatively high. The virus appears endemic, with a foothold in domesticated bird populations" said a WHO spokesman.

Following the ban on poultry imports from Malaysia, Singapore's wholesalers have raised the price of frozen chicken by some 20 percent. Chicken sellers at one market in the eastern part of Singapore are worried. Business is not good and with no fresh poultry to sell, some say they may be forced to take a break. Others are planning to start selling frozen poultry instead.

In the US, a study conducted by the USDA revealed that extra vitamin E fed to turkeys appears to help control infections from listeria. The researchers found that vitamin E improved the ability of turkeys to fight the growth of listeria. Vitamin E is said to have a similar effect on chickens.

A recently completed research project funded by the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association investigated factors affecting broiler mortality during live haul. “Broilers that are dead-on-arrival at processing plants are a common occurrence throughout the poultry industry,” one of the researchers involved in the project said.

Buckeye Egg Farm may be out of the public's view but remains in the government's sights as Ohio state seeks another contempt of court charge. The poultry operation that the Ohio Department of Agriculture ordered to shut down before selling its assets will again find itself in a Licking County Common Pleas courtroom. This time it's for failing to build two manure barns and implement a manure management strategy as ordered.

Smithfield Foods has penetrated the UK market for the first time following the purchase of The Norwich Food Company and London-based Ridpath Pek for unspecified sums. The Norwich Food Company imported continental European meat to the UK, principally chicken, turkey and game, while Ridpath Pek was the UK market leader in supplying chopped pork to the retail sector.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

In this 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

Progress Report on Salmonella Testing of Raw Meat and Poultry Products, 1998-2003
By the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service - The FSIS has released regulatory sampling data showing a continued downward trend in positive tests for Salmonella. The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) rule, implemented July 25, 1996, established Salmonella performance standards in seven categories of meat and poultry products; broilers; market hogs; cows/bulls; steer/heifer; ground beef; ground chicken; and ground turkey.

Successful Broiler Production Depends on a Sound Feeding Program
By M.T. Kidd, Assistant Professor of Poultry Science, Mississippi State University - The old saying, "you are what you eat" relates not only to humans but also chickens. Feeding programs for broilers, breeders, and layers are more than buying, blending, and scheduling feed. Poultry have been produced commercially since the early 1900's, and research has been conducted for years to improve production efficiency.

That's all for this week.

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