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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 18th April 2005

ThePoultrySite.com's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter ThePoultrySite.com's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 18th April 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in Indonesia, where scientists have found the H5N1 bird flu virus in a pig. The strain has infected poultry across east Asia, and killed at least 51 people so far. Scientists fear pigs could act as a “mixing vessel” in which a human pandemic strain could evolve, because the animals can harbour both human and avian flu viruses.
     Java was the worst-affected part of Indonesia during 2004’s H5N1 bird flu outbreak. But by slaughtering and vaccinating poultry, Indonesia stopped the outbreak in October - with no reported human cases. But in April 2005, bird flu struck poultry throughout Java once again, mainly in village-based “backyard” flocks.

In Vietnam, the bird flu virus that has killed 36 people may not be contained until 2007 because the way it is spreading still baffles experts, officials said today. The government aimed to contain the H5N1 virus by next year or 2007 and eliminate it by 2010, the Deputy Agriculture Minister said.
     He told health, agriculture officials and foreign experts it was still not known for sure how the virus was transmitted from water fowl, who carry it without getting sick, to poultry and then to people.

Ducks play a dangerous role in spreading the deadly bird flu in Vietnam, which has killed at least 36 people in the country, the top Vietnamese veterinary official said last week. In an interview, the director of the Agriculture Ministry’s animal health department said the long-time tradition of farmers allowing ducks to roam freely in the rice fields is creating a public health hazard.

Initial testing showed that 71% of ducks and 21.4% of chickens in Vietnam's 11 southern localities in the Mekong Delta are infected with bird flu virus strain H5, according to The Peoples Daily. Up to 80% of 2,000 samples taken from ducks raised in Can Tho city alone, which is home to some 1.5 million poultry, were tested positive to H5,

The threat of a killer flu pandemic is greater than ever because of the spread of the bird flu virus in south-east Asia, the World Health Organisation said friday. Avian influenza is still spreading, despite countermeasures, and the possibility of a global epidemic that could kill millions is said to be more likely than not.

In Cambodia, the Ministry of Health confirmed that an 8-year-old girl from Kampot province who died on 7 April, was the country’s third case of avian influenza. Samples tested positive for avian influenza H5N1 virus at the Pasteur Institute, Phnom Penh. A field investigation was conducted immediately, with team members from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, WHO, Pasteur Institute and FAO. Poultry deaths occurred in this village in February, but no poultry deaths occurred in the two weeks prior to the girl’s onset of symptoms.

In China, more than 200 chickens died over the past week at a farm in the southern city of Shenzhen, but health authorities in nearby Hong Kong said the cause was not the deadly bird flu virus. Hong Kong's Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said it had been told by Chinese health authorities that the chickens had been infected by a common respiratory tract disease that posed no threat to humans.

Paracox-5 - Coccidiosis vaccine for poultry
Paracox-5 Coccidiosis vaccine

Singapore will lift the ban on poultry and eggs imports from Malaysian states of Selangor and Negri Sembilan from April 14, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore announced on Wednesday. "AVA has inspected Negri Sembilan and Selangor and has assessed that all the necessary measures have been put in place to establish and maintain these two states as bird flu free zones," an AVA statement said.

The European Union should be able to dip into a €1 billion disaster fund to buy emergency vaccines and anti-viral drugs if there were a bird flu pandemic, the EU executive Commission said on wednesday. Fifty-one people have died from the virus since it swept across Asia at the end of 2003.
     Tens of millions of fowl have died of bird flu or been slaughtered in a so far vain attempt to kill off the virus, which the WHO says is now endemic in parts of southeast Asia.

EU farm ministers are being urged to tighten up their checks on live animal exports and comply fully with legislation designed to maintain proper welfare standards. President of the agriculture council, Fernand Boden, has written to his 24 fellow ministers, reminding them of their responsibilities with regard to granting export subsidies on cattle being shipped to Third countries.
     These include the need for an official veterinary check at the point of exit from the EU, another check where there is a change in the means of transport, and a final check at the place of unloading in the country of destination.

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson is being lobbied to help UK poultry firms such as Bernard Matthews which are having to make job cuts due to cheap imports. The Norfolk turkey producer has already announced it is shutting part of its oldest factory at Great Witchingham with up to 112 redundancies.

The Forum of Private Business, which represents 25,000 UK small to medium sized firms, is taking its campaign to save small abattoirs to Brussels today, reports the NPA. It says the government's interpretation of European Commission regulations governing abattoirs is too stringent for small abattoirs to comply with economically.
     FPB's food spokesman Bob Salmon, who is leading the delegation of abattoir owners to Brussels, said he wanted the EC to give greater clarity and definition to the complex wording of its abattoir regulations. "Small abattoirs are in great peril because of the Food Standards Agency's inflexible interpretation of the EC's regulations,' he said.

Poultry farmers fearful of the costs of complying with new EU welfare regulations have been told not to worry. For advisors say the benefits in improving the industry's image will far outstrip the expense of introducing the changes.
     Millions of eggs are still produced under the old, cramped battery system, one of the most conspicuous targets for animal welfare organisations' campaigns.

In the US, continuing reductions in foodborne illnesses announced by the CDC correspond to continuing reductions in pathogenic bacteria on meat and poultry products, according to the American Meat Institute Foundation.
     "We are gratified to see that foodborne illnesses continue to trend downward - the same way pathogenic bacteria on many meat and poultry products are trending downward," said AMIF President James H. Hodges.

The USDA Secretary Mike Johanns announced the availability of model food security plans and training that meat, poultry and egg processing plants can utilize to strengthen security measures and prevent potential acts of intentional contamination. The model food security plans are being issued in the form of guidance documents and are voluntary.

The new Cobb Breeder Management Guide - following the style of the Cobb Broiler Guide launched last autumn - is now introduced for the Cobb family of products. The latest guide provides detailed husbandry information and advice applicable to all four Cobb breeds, with performance and management data specific to the Cobb 500, Cobb 700, Cobb Avian 34/43 and Cobb Avian 48 provided in separate, color-coded supplements.
     The handy-size guide contains extended sections on nutrition and male management, while the supplements for each breed provide detailed data on growth and bodyweights in both dark-out and open-sided rearing environments and breeder performance targets through to 65 weeks of age.

In Russia, the Government had approved a draft agreement between the Russian and the US authorities entitled On the Trade of Certain Sorts of Poultry, Beef and Pork, fixing the volume of meat import to Russia for the next four years. Russian poultry farmers have already labelled the document “a treachery of Russia’s interests”.

DuPont Animal Health Solutions - ANTEC® BIOSENTRY®
DuPont Animal Health Solutions - ANTEC®  BIOSENTRY®

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 2 features this week.

Broiler Production Systems: The ideal stocking density?
By Brian D. Fairchild, Extension Poultry Scientist, University of Georgia - The ideal density at which to place broilers during grow-out is an ongoing debate. There is no definitive answer to this question. It is natural to assume that birds will perform better when given more space. However, it’s not more space but the improved environment that the added space may provide that is important.

Poultry Outlook Report - April 2005
By U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service - This article is an extract from the April 2005: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, highlighting Global Poultry Industry data. The report indicates that the broiler production in the first quarter of 2005 is estimated at 8.45 billion pounds, up 3.1 percent from the previous year.

Cobb - Primary Broiler Breeders
Cobb - Primary Broiler Breeders

That's all for this week.

Ed.


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