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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 13th December 2004

ThePoultrySite.com's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter ThePoultrySite.com's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 13th December 2004
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

This week we start in Asia, where an outbreak of bird flu has been detected in eastern Indonesia. The virus infected more than 20,000 chickens, highlighting the country's continuing struggle against the disease.
     Authorities in Mataram, the capital of Lombok island, are distributing some 250,000 doses of vaccine to farmers in the worst-hit area to control the spread. The strain of the disease was not identified. No human cases have been reported on the island, 670 miles east of Jakarta.

Thailand's exports of fresh chickens and chicken products slumped by 91% over the first 10 months of the year as a result of the avian flu pandemic, the secretary-general of the Office of Agricultural Economics revealed Friday.
     Mr. Suthiporn Jeeraphan said that the bird flu crisis at the beginning of the year and the second outbreak in July had caused exports of frozen chickens to drop to a low of 26,375 tonnes, worth Bt 1.732 billion (approx $44m).

Thai government officials have warned the country’s chicken farmers that the most effective way to prevent the spread of avian bird flu is to switch to the closed farming system, reports MCOT News. Although the bird flu situation in Thailand has improved, government officials remain on alert with the start of the winter season, as the bird flu virus lives longer in colder temperatures.

In Vietnam, the bird flu epidemic has caused serious damage to the husbandry sector as it has killed around 36 million poultry throughout the country, or 14.25% of the total herds. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said some of the small-scattered epidemics in southern provinces have been contained with only 17 chickens dead on November 6. "There were no more bird flu outbreaks reported so far this year," they said.

In Malaysia, the multi-billion-ringgit poultry industry can anticipate significantly lower costs next year. Feed prices, a major cost component, have eased and are expected to fall further. The prices of soymeal and corn had soared in the early part of the year, leading to high feed prices throughout 2004. Soymeal and corn are key ingredients in animal feed. Companies engaged in poultry and layer egg farms will be paying less for feed next year, after they deplete the current stocks.

In the Eastern Cape, more ostriches were being culled after more positive tests for avian influenza, the National Council of SPCAs said on Wednesday. NSPCA spokesperson Celeste Houseman said 5000 to 6000 ostriches had been culled in late October and November in the Grahamstown area, while about 20 000 birds were culled in the Somerset East/Middelburg area where the avian flu outbreak was first detected in September.

As warnings mount that a major outbreak of bird flu in humans is a matter of when, not if, concerns that Hong Kong will be among the hardest hit areas from such a scenario are growing. All the great flu pandemics of the last century have originated in southern China, which puts Hong Kong in a very dangerous neighborhood. In 1997, Hong Kong was ground zero -- the first place where avian flu jumped the species barrier to infect, and kill, human beings.

In the US, poultry production has become increasingly threatened by a major parasitic disease called coccidiosis, according to a report by the USDA's ARS. Coccidiosis costs the U.S. poultry industry about $700 million annually. It is caused by Eimeria, a parasite that infects the birds intestines.

Talks in Tulsa designed to avoid a possible water quality lawsuit between Oklahoma and six Arkansas poultry companies were described as "productive" in a joint statement released Thursday.
     In September, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson said his office had retained outside counsel to prepare a lawsuit to be filed against poultry companies for harming water quality in Oklahoma streams that begin in Arkansas, including the Illinois River. Edmondson said at the time any settlement short of litigation must involve the poultry companies paying monetary damages and taking ownership responsibility for excess poultry litter.

An international consortium of researchers, including a geneticist at the University of California, Davis, uncovered a treasure trove of data when they analyzed the recently sequenced chicken genome, a development that will benefit research in basic biology and medicine for years to come.
     Their analysis of the chicken genome - the first genome of a livestock or bird species to be sequenced - is the cover story in the Dec. 9 issue of the journal Nature.

The European Commission has decided to impose fines totalling €66.34 million on Akzo Nobel, BASF and UCB for operating a cartel in the market for choline chloride. Choline chloride, also known as vitamin B4, is used mainly as a feed additive for poultry and pigs, to increase growth, reduce mortality and improve meat quality. Clients are animal feed producers, which in turn supply to European farmers.

Clitravi, the Europe-wide processors’ organization, believes it has been backed by the European Commission in its stance on the use of water and water retention agents in poultry meat products and preparations, reports MeatNews. Clitravi said the use is important not only for maintaining succulence in products, but also in terms of being free to add liquid ingredients as part of recipe products, for example, in the form of gravies, sauces and glazes.

Irish consumers will munch their way through over a million turkeys this Christmas, putting them in the top league of gobblers in the EU. Over 3m turkeys are produced in Ireland country each year, and a third of those are aimed at the Christmas market, said Mick Reilly, a turkey grower in Maynooth and member of the Irish Farmers' Association.
     Irish people eat more turkey than anyone else in the EU, at 7.5kg per capita compared to an average of 4.5kg in the rest of Europe, according to official figures from Bord Bia. Consumption in Ireland grew by almost 25pc in the 12 months to the end of September.

* 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

Mortality Patterns Associated with Commercial Broiler Production
By G.T. Tabler, I.L. Berry and A.M. Mendenhall at the University of Arkansas's Avian Advice - Flock mortality has a major influence on size of the settlement check after harvest and so is one of the greatest worries of any broiler grower. While differences in breeder flock status, genetic strain, hatchery conditions and management practices mean that two consecutive flocks on a particular farm will seldom have similar mortality patterns, the examination of data from numerous flocks can help to identify specific mortality patterns.

Hatching Ostrich Chicks
By the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service - Production of the ostrich in the United States in locations other than zoos and wildlife preserves is a relatively new segment of animal husbandry. The natural home of the ostrich is Africa, but large numbers of the birds are now being produced in the United States and Canada. Birds are being sold to be used as breeders and for slaughter purposes. Growers hope to continue to expand the slaughter market as well as the market for hides and feathers.

That's all for this week.

Ed.


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