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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 25th April 2005

ThePoultrySite.com's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter ThePoultrySite.com's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 25th April 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

Please note that due to next Monday being a Bank Holiday in the UK, next week's newsletter will be sent out on Tuesday. Thanks.

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in Vietnam, where last year, US researchers reported that ducks in Southeast Asia had begun carrying the bird flu virus without showing symptoms. Now, scientists in Vietnam have found numerous asymptomatic cases in the country's vast chicken population, according to Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
     "It seems that the virus may adapt in humans and in poultry a little bit. Therefore, the symptoms are not as severe as before," Hien said. "Also, the transmission may be faster and easier."

After 18 months of bird-flu outbreaks, the economic effect of the epidemic can be seen just about everywhere in Vietnam, from empty soup bowls in the cities to the closure of poultry farms in the hinterlands of the Mekong Delta, reports TheSeattleTimes.
     The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that Southeast Asia as a whole has suffered about $10 billion in economic losses because of bird flu. Major poultry exporters hit by the outbreaks, particularly in Thailand, have suffered the greatest financial losses.

Asean countries have not done enough in stockpiling anti-viral drugs for protecting their people from avian influenza and a possible virus pandemic in the region, say health experts.
     An American health expert insisted that Asean member nations needed to work with pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine against bird flu and produce sufficient oseltamivir doses for use in their countries as soon as possible, reports The Bangkok Post.

South Korean officials travelled to the North Korean city of Kaesong on Friday for talks on helping the reclusive state combat a bird flu outbreak. The talks are the first contact between the authorities of the South and North since July last year, an official told Reuters.
     North Korea accepted the South's offer for help in fighting the outbreak, which has led Pyongyang to cull more than 210,000 chickens. North Korea confirmed the outbreak last month but has not said whether there were any human infections.

In Italy , in order to maximise the high quality and safety levels of their poultry products, lawmakers are considering enforcing the provisions of a law which requires the origin of all foodstuffs to appear on product labels.
     "This way, we wouldn't need to invent a EU mark which might help pass off products from Eastern European countries as Italian products", said The chairman of Federconsumatori, Rosario Trefiletti.

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Meanwhile, Italy has detected a low-risk strain of bird flu in turkeys in one of its northern regions but the outbreak does not pose a threat to public health, the European Commission said last Wednesday. "A low pathogenic form of avian influenza was notified to the EC on April 18 concerning 10 turkey flocks in the province of Brescia," a Commission official told Reuters.

As a result of this breakout, Russia has banned poultry imports from Italy, Sergei Dankvert, head of the Federal Veterinary and Plant Sanitary Control Oversight Service told Interfax. The ban will affect live birds, incubated eggs, poultry, all kinds of poultry products that have not undergone thermal treatment and bird feed, he said.

Russia has also banned imports of Moldovan meat amid suspicions that it is selling on sub-standard products from third countries, sparking a row between national authorities, reports cee-foodindustry.com. The ban, which came into force last Monday, covers beef, pork, mutton and poultry as well all Moldovan products derived from meat and will last indefinitely.

Bulgaria will cease the import of live poultry, eggs and raw poultry products from the Kilkis prefecture in Greece, the Bulgarian Agriculture Minister said last week. The ban has been imposed due to spotted cases of so-called Newcastle disease in that region.

In the US, lawmakers on the Assembly Agriculture Committee rejected an effort by animal-rights activists to ban the killing of farm animals by using wood-chipping machinery, more commonly used to grind up trees and other yard trimmings.
     The activists wanted the rare practice of death-by-chipper banned after a 2003 incident in Escondido, when a poultry farmer fed 30,000 live hens into a chipper in the wake of a scare over exotic Newcastle disease. Millions of Southern California birds were killed at the time — mostly by carbon-dioxide gassing — to prevent the spread of the disease.

An offer of limited amnesty for air pollution violations from the US Environmental Protection Agency to chicken growers was recently extended by several months to July 1. Some local poultry producers, however, were surprised to learn that the rules in question would be applied to them.
     The EPA said in January that it had drawn up a draft consent agreement regarding air emissions from small-scale livestock farms. The proposed rules are similar to those in effect for large chicken farms, holding 125,000 or more animals, that went into effect in 2003.

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There was a lot to celebrate at last weeks annual Delmarva Poultry Industry booster banquet in Salisbury, Maryland. During the past year, the industry has experienced an increase in the number of growers and birds, favorable prices and a rebound from the bird flu scare. Delaware Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse credited area lawmakers for persuading foreign countries to lift trade bans imposed after the avian influenza scare.

In the UK, English farmers are likely to see their single farm payment cheques diminish by 26% after five years, according to experts at Natwest. Ian Kenny, head of agriculture at the bank, said that EU and regional modulation, scale backs due to European budget constraints and the national reserve would all take their toll.
     "We now know enough detail on the single farm payment to start planning, and farmers need to grasp this and start thinking ahead. "It is not just a case of getting the new SFP instead of production subsidies, with the one replacing the other.
     "It's a totally new scheme, no longer linked to production and all about working with the rural community."

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 2 features this week.

Ammonia levels in layer houses
By A. Bruce Webster, Extension Poultry Scientist, University of Georgia - The cold weather of winter creates challenges for management of commercial layer houses entirely different from those of summer. Ventilation rates must be reduced to minimize heat loss and preserve appropriate temperatures in the living space of the birds.

Abolition of battery cages in EU-25 : Cost estimated at €354 million
By the USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service - The EU ban on traditional cages for laying hens, which is scheduled for 2012, could cost European egg producers up to €354 million per year. An EC report calculates the cost of egg production indicating that switching to free range egg production increases cost by 20 percent and barn egg production increases cost by 12 percent.

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That's all for this week.

Ed.


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