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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 22nd November 2004's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 22nd November 2004
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in Vietnam where over 3,000 ducks have recently died in the central Binh Thuan province after showing symptoms of swollen heads, paralyzed legs, slow movement and exhaustion, local press reported. Three owners of the ducks in the province's Tanh Linh district abandoned their fowls in fields, Vietnam Agriculture said.
     Samples from the affected ducks are being tested, the district's veterinarian bureau said, adding the poultry exhibited no signs of bird flu symptoms.

Vietnam has recently detected a small number of chickens infected with the H5 strain of bird flu virus, and remains on high alert for potential new outbreaks this winter when weather conditions favor the development of viruses, reports Xinhuanet. Twenty chickens in the southern city of Can Tho were found to have been affected by H5 in mid-November.

In Thailand, a scientific experiment has confirmed authorities' assurance that cooked fowl meat and eggs are safe from the bird-flu virus. Prof. Thawisak, an expert veterinarian, said on Friday that in conducting the study, he injected an amount of the avian flu virus - enough to kill a chicken foetus within 24 hours - into raw eggs, chicken and duck meat. The eggs and meat were later cooked in a normal way and tests showed that the cooked items had no traces of the bird flu virus left.

In the US, the Maryland Department of Agriculture said last Friday that two ducks on a farm in southern Worcester County have tested positive for a form of avian flu. Officials have said that the strain cannot spread to chickens and is not a threat to the poultry industry. Random tests identified the sick ducks, but further testing has found no other ducks with the disease so far.
An infectious disease expert is warning that the US and other countries aren't prepared for an outbreak of bird flu. Michael Osterholm told a national conference of agricultural bankers in Minneapolis that he believes the bird flu epidemic in Southeast Asia will become a lethal pandemic.

Chiron Corp. has asked British regulators to inspect its facility producing an experimental bird flu vaccine to make sure it doesn't run into the same contamination problems that forced the closing of another plant and a human flu shot crisis in the US, a top health official said last week. Chiron is one of two companies producing experimental bird-flu vaccine in the US.

Senator-elect John Thune says he would go straight to the top if need be to help keep mandatory country-of-origin labeling for meat and other foods. The 2002 Farm Bill required the USDA to implement COOL by September 2004. But last year, lawmakers delayed implementation until September 2006 by inserting language into an omnibus spending bill. Thune recently defeated Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, one of the strongest champions of the labeling legislation.

Meanwhile, ninty-five agriculture-related organizations have signed a joint letter to several U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee leaders urging them to oppose any amendments to weaken or repeal the MCOOL law, according to MeatNews. The coalition sending the letter calls itself "Americans for Country of Origin Labeling" and collectively represents more than 50 million U.S. voters the sponsors said.

In the UK, FWi reports the Royal Agricultural Societies have agreed a four-point plan to encourage a culture of change, fearing producers have become "transfixed by uncertainty" over the future of farming post CAP reform.
     Agriculture needed vibrant, viable businesses, said Ben Gill, former NFU president. Change would not happen overnight nor, indeed, at all depending on producers' points of view, he warned. Industry figures suggest 30% would embrace change, 50% convert slowly and 20% reject change.

In Australia, Imugene Limited has completed a large scale product development trial of its novel, non antibiotic, non hormone Poultry Productivity Enhancer with substantially improved performance compared with the trial results announced in August 2004, the company reports.
     The double blinded 900 bird trial of the Poultry Productivity Enhancer compared 8 different combinations of dose and frequency of administration to determine the optimum dose and administration schedule for the final commercial product.
     Half the groups were fed feed containing antibiotics whilst the others were fed antibiotic free feed. Antibiotics are routinely included in poultry feed as a disease preventative and to improve growth.

Russia has agreed to reduce tariffs for imports of Thai frozen chicken by 20%. This move follows a bilateral trade meeting between leaders of the two countries on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation being held in the Chilean capital. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to give Thailand the tariff reduction instead of offering a quota as Russia has never imported Thai chicken before.

* 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

Broiler Production: Soil and Water Quality Farm Assessment System
By Dr. Mike Lacy, Associate Professor and Dr. Larry Vest, Associate Professor, Poultry Science Department, University of Georgia - This report provides an outline for self-assessing broiler farm operational practices in relation to soil and water quality.

Water Sanitation: Evaluation of Products
By Susan Watkins, Lisa Newberry, Melony Wilson and Robert Hubbard, University of Arkansas - Cleaning water lines between flocks is an important step in providing optimum drinking water for poultry production. Even producers with excellent daily water sanitation programs can still benefit from aggressively cleaning water systems between flocks.

That's all for this week.

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