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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 15th November 2004's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 15th November 2004
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week with the World Health Organization's call on developed countries help to research and develop a bird flu vaccine. Senior WHO official Klaus Stohr told a WHO meeting on the prevention of bird flu in Geneva that private pharmaceutical companies can't afford the huge cost of developing a vaccine. Only two pharmaceutical companies, Chiron Corp in Britain and Aventis-Pasteur in France, have been working on a potential vaccine.

Domestic ducks may be acting as a silent reservoir for the H5N1 Avian Influenza virus, which is highly pathogenic for chickens, and may thus have acquired an important new role in the transmission of the virus to other poultry and, possibly, to humans as well, three international agencies warned today.
     The concern is greatest in rural areas of affected countries, where traditional free-ranging ducks, chickens and wildlife mingle, according to a joint statement by FAO, the WHO and the OIE.

Canada's public health agency wants to commission the country's major flu vaccine maker to produce trial batches of a vaccine to protect against the lethal H5N1 strain that experts fear may provoke the next flu pandemic.
     This is just the type of project the World Health Organization is hoping to coax key countries and flu vaccine makers to undertake during a special two-day vaccine summit that begins Thursday in Geneva, according to

In Thailand, the government has given assurance that it has not withheld information on bird flu outbreaks. “The government has implemented a transparent system of disclosure of the bird flu situation on a daily basis”, said Dr. Charal Trinvuthipong, director of the command centre on bird flu. He dismissed local media reports accusing the government of withholding information to protect its image and reputation.
     Dr. Charal Trinvuthipong also said last week that the situation on the avian influenza pandemic in Thailand has improved in terms of the spread of the disease and the number of patients. He found that the situation had improved since state agencies concerned were instructed to take strict measures to curb the bird flu outbreak and that the number of poultry found infected with the bird flu had appeared to decline.

The Public Health Ministry's Department of Disease Control has warned of the dangers posed by chicken waste in the coming winter months, as the bird flu virus tends to live longer in low temperatures.
     People who raise chickens, or live nearby chicken farms should be more careful and avoid touching or stepping on chicken droppings, as they could habour the bird flu virus for longer during the winter, MCOT reports.

In Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Veterinary Department, 100% of serum samples taken from large poultry farms in northern provinces have tested negative for the avian influenza virus, H5N1. In other words, the region's young poultry flocks are safe to be distributed to rearing establishments.

The Chinese government has lifted the trade ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products, except those from Rhode Island and Connecticut, effective immediately, announced the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Poultry slaughtered on or after Nov. 8 are eligible, according to the embassy. The ban had been in place for 10 months since Feb. 10, due to outbreaks of low pathogenic avian influenza.

In Hong Kong, Sars and bird flu may be listed as occupational diseases under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance in an effort to speed up the payout process for victims. The proposal is contained in a government paper to be discussed by legislators next week. The two potentially deadly ailments will join 46 others already listed as occupational diseases.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that it will recognize additional numbering systems for the identification of animals. The systems will apply to interstate commerce and cooperative disease control and eradication programs for animals. Additionally, APHIS will authorize the use of a national numbering system to identify premises where animals are managed or held.

The defeat of US Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle gives the food industry hope that a voluntary country-of-origin labeling program may replace the mandatory program currently slated for implementation, according to Senator Daschle strongly opposed voluntary COOL.

In Pennsylvania, agriculture is facing increasing pressure from foreign competition and domestic demands, the Chamber of Commerce said Thursday. "We’ve all heard really awful things about concentrated feed operations" said Amanda Kessler. "But what is great about this is how committed to the environment they are." There may be a place for responsible CFO operations if we want to have cheap, affordable protein.

Brazil's January to October chicken exports surged 47% to $1.145 billion, compared with the same period last year, according to the Brazilian Chicken Exporters and Producers Association (ABEF). "The performance to October indicates that 2004 chicken exports will generate a revenue of around $2.5 billion from 2.4 million tons shipped. The figure is up 25% in volume, and 40% in revenue compared with last year," stated Abef director Claudio Martins.

In Holland, Belgium and Germany, more than 200 dairy and livestock farms have been temporarily closed, following the discovery of dioxin contamination in some of the feed given to the animals.
     Further investigations found the source of contamination to be potato peelings supplied by a processing plant in Holland. In addition it has restricted animal movements from another 196 pig, cattle, sheep and goat farms which were found to have fed the contaminated peel.

Great Britain Food imports have risen by almost 25% since the early 1990s, according to figures published by a government department this week, FWi report. The Office of National Statistics has published data which show that between 1992 and 2002, imports of food rose by 24.6% to £19.1bn. At the same time exports fell by 10.1%, which means that the net trade balance for food products increased from a deficit of £4.7bn in 1992 to a deficit of £9.8bn in 2002.
     A spokesman for the Commercial Farmers Group agreed that while some imports were goods that could not be grown or produced in the UK, many were not. "The attitude seems to be that the world is full of cheap food, we have a strong economy, so we might as well import it" he said.

* 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 3 new features this week

World Poultry Trade Overview - October 2004
By USDA Foreign Agricultural Service - This article provides an overview of global poultry trade predictions for 2003. The report covers the US, Brazil, Canada, EU, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Thailand, Mexico and Russia. The report concludes that world poultry exports are expected to increase 7.2% in 2005, with Brazil maintaining the lead.

Strategies for Successful Turkey Production
By G.T. Tabler, Applied Broiler Research Unit Manager at the University of Arkansas's Avian Advice - Over the years, through careful genetic selection, the turkey industry has created a turkey that today is a high-performance protein producing bird, but within a narrow window of conditions. This article looks at some key areas critical to successful turkey production including setting up for a flock, brooding, disease control and ventilation.

Causes of twisted legs in chicks
By Mississippi State University - This condition is observed only in young growing chickens, usually those under 6 weeks of age. The twisted leg condition is referred to as "perosis" and is caused by a nutritional deficiency of a vitamin named "choline."

That's all for this week.

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