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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 14th November 2005's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 14th November 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in Vietnam, where Avian Flu has mutated into a more dangerous form which could breed in humans, according to scientists. The Vietnamese research has shown the bug is adapting to infect humans in the biggest study of its kind. The respected Ho Chi Minh Pasteur Institute in Vietnam said it had decoded 24 samples of the H5N1 virus taken from poultry and humans.
     The results showed a significant variation of antigen - any foreign substance that stimulates the body's immune system to produce antibodies. "The H5N1 type that infected people and waterfowl in early 2005 has several mutations focusing in the important functional parts of the surface proteins," the institute said on its website.

In Thailand, a toddler has tested positive for bird flu, a senior official said on Saturday, the first human case in Bangkok since a fresh flare-up of the deadly disease a month ago. The one-year-old boy probably contracted the H5N1 virus from playing around chickens at his home which later died of the virus, said Paijit Warachit, director-general of the Department of Medical Science.
     "The boy is confirmed as definitely having H5N1," Paijit told Reuters. "As for his grandmother, we have to keep close watch on her, just to be safe." The virus - which has killed 13 Thais since it swept across large parts of Asia in late 2003 - has re-emerged in 10 of Thailand's 76 provinces, mainly in central areas, since the beginning of last month.

Indonesia is investigating whether a 20-year-old woman who lived close to a flock of sick chickens died from bird flu after falling ill with a high fever and breathing difficulties, a hospital spokesman said Sunday. The woman died in Jakarta's infectious diseases hospital late Saturday, hospital spokesman Dr. Ilham Patu said Sunday. Her neighbors had a flock of backyard chickens that died suddenly.

China has confirmed a fresh outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in poultry in its central Hubei province, the Hong Kong government said on Saturday. "The Health, Welfare and Food Bureau received notification from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Mainland last night, of an H5N1 avian influenza outbreak among poultry in Jingshan country in Hubei province" the Hong Kong government said in a statement.
     This latest outbreak comes as China is battling to control seven other outbreaks since the beginning October. The Hong Kong government also said it has suspended imports of poultry from Hubei province with immediate effect - although the city currently does not import any from Hubei.

Culling poultry for bird flu prevention has proven a double-edged sword, according to Xinhuanet. While it could help curb the rampage of the deadly virus, it has had a huge impact upon farmers' incomes. This was a big concern for Vice-Minister of Agriculture Yin Chengjie, who said slaughtering poultry has brought huge losses to farmers.
     He told a seminar on Friday in Beijing the government has compensated farmers 10 yuan (US$1.2) for each bird killed, but "it cannot make up for the huge losses for farmers, as in some provinces, nearly half of their income derived from poultry rearing."
     Last year, per capita net income of Chinese farmers reached 2,936 yuan (US$362), up 6.8 per cent year on year the highest increase rate since 1997.

In this weeks China broiler report, eFeedLink say that news of a bird flu outbreak in Heishan county, Liaoning province has sent prices of AA broilers and China breed broilers plummeting in the week ending Nov 9. Consumers have substituted pork for chicken in their diet and this has quickened the pace of broiler price decline. Poultry producers were anxious to offload their broilers.
     As demand had stayed weak their efforts could only result in steeper price falls. The recent recovery in broiler prices in some regions has failed to sustain after the latest outbreak.

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

Japan, for the first time, has started buying Indian frozen chicken. Bird flu hasn’t hit Indian shores, but it is having a ripple effect on Indian food export, reports Indian Express. Japan which was importing meat from Thailand and China banned the imports from the two countries after bird flu was detected there. ‘‘They had to find another supplier,’’ said a spokesman for the Poultry Federation of India.
     Bird flu has affected another area of Indian exports — soyameal. Soyameal is a major ingredient for poultry feed. Recently four contracts of 13,000 tonnes were cancelled by China, which is already culling poultry in areas where bird flu cases have been detected.

In Kuwait, one of the two birds discovered with avian flu carried the deadly H5N1 strain, in the first case of its kind in the Gulf region, an agriculture official said last week. “In one of the birds we found the deadly H5N1,” said deputy director general of the Kuwaiti agriculture authority, Mohamed al-Mehanna.
     “The dead bird was a flamingo which was found by the sea. It was killed by the authorities and did not die of the virus,” Mehanna said. He said a second bird, a falcon found at Kuwait airport that had been brought in from an Asian nation, was found to have the milder H5N2 strain.

In the US, a consumer group has called on the federal government to calm fears about bird flu, and also criticizes animal rights groups for fueling needless panic. Nearly half of Americans questioned in a new opinion poll mistakenly believe that they can contract bird flu by eating chicken.
     47% of respondents - including 42% of college graduates - agreed with the false statement that eating an infected chicken can result in bird-flu transmission. The poll, which sampled the opinions of 1,007 Americans, was commissioned by the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) and conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.
     Cooked poultry simply cannot transmit the virus to a human being. But a massive U.S. media focus on avian influenza, coupled with needless hysteria from animal rights activists who see bird flu as an opportunity to promote vegetarianism, has generated widespread fear that has no basis in reality, says the CCF.

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

The Foster Farms chicken farm is home to more than 1 million chickens, but not one is in sight. The birds are kept uncaged inside 64 enclosed barns so they don't mingle with wild birds, which are believed to have spread the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus from poultry in Asia to birds in Eastern Europe.
     Workers enter barns only if they're wearing coveralls, boots and hairnets, which are later washed or discarded so workers don't inadvertently spread viruses. Feed trucks are hosed down before driving onto the farm for the same reason.
     Poultry producers say they have taken precautions such as these for years to protect flocks from diseases. Now, they might prove to be one of the nation's vital defenses in preventing the spread of a deadly bird flu virus that has set off fears of a global health crisis.

Most people will just head to the grocery store when it's time to pick up a turkey, but a growing number of people are turning to all-natural farms instead, reports WLBZ. All-natural farms don't feed their turkeys growth hormones or anti-biotics to fatten them up. Maine agriculture commissioner Bob Spear said people are much more conscious about what they eat, and so more and more businesses are finding their niche with all-natural meat.
     "I think it's a good niche market and it's growing. More people are trying to do that because the consumer, it catches their eye and they buy it," Spear said. The all-natural birds at Maine-ly Poultry in Warren are twice as expensive as what you'd find in a grocery store. But owner John Barnstein said people are willing to pay for more because they're supporting local farms, and they know what they're eating, the report says.

A major outbreak of bird flu in the European Union's poultry flock could close off exports worth $1 billion, force domestic prices lower but push up world market levels, the FAO said last Tuesday. The FAO said potential trade bans in the event of a widespread avian influenza outbreak in the 25-nation EU bloc, source of 13% of global poultry output, were already unsettling world markets.
     "The close proximity of recent outbreaks in the European region to EU member states has raised considerable conerns about the industrial impact of potential outbreaks," the FAO said in a report distributed at a major bird flu conference in Geneva.

Hatchery Automation Systems - Improved quality and reduced costs
Improved quality and reduced costs

The head of OIE hailed the launch of a $1 billion plan to tackle bird flu, but criticized the WHO's earlier handling of the crisis. The plan unveiled by health experts at a WHO meeting in Geneva last week, supported by the World Bank, is aimed at rooting out bird flu among poultry and stopping it from spawning an influenza pandemic which could kill millions of people.
     Bernard Vallat, the director general of the Paris-based World Animal Health Organization (OIE), told the French newspaper Liberation he was satisfied with the outcome of the Geneva conference. "The massive commitment by the World Bank should allow countries affected or at risk to benefit from effective veterinary services," he was quoted as saying on Saturday.

In the UK, sales of organic products continue to grow much faster than sales in the non-organic grocery market and last year reached £1.213 billion - an 11% increase on the previous calendar year - according to figures released today by the Soil Association. The growth in sales equates to £2.3 million a week.
     The Soil Association's Organic Market Report 2005 - the most comprehensive review of the organic sector - says sales of organic products through box schemes, farm shops and farmers’ markets increased by 33% in 2004. Sales through independent shops also rocketed, increasing by 43%. The supermarket share of the market fell from 81% to 75% but still accounts for £913 million in sales.

In the same report, leading supermarket chains were accused of importing cheap organic meat and salads produced to lower standards than required in Britain, reports The Times.
     The Soil Association criticised Tesco, Asda and Morrison for their sourcing policy, particularly in beef, pork and salads. Helen Browning, Food and Farming director, said: “We really need to get long-term commitment from supermarkets to buy products grown in the UK.”

Farming will help the UK reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least a million tonnes of CO2 per year thanks to the introduction of a five-percent Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation. The government recently announced that by 2010, 5% of all transport fuel will come from CO2 neutral sources like bioethanol and bio-diesel which is refined from crops including wheat, sugarbeet and oilseed rape.

Company news

Wassim Sakr has been appointed technical manager for Cobb in the Middle East, strengthening the breeding company's support for customers throughout the area. For the past 19 years Mr Sakr has been working for the Hawa Chicken company in Lebanon, and has been managing a team of 16 technicians involved in producing 20 million broilers and 100 million table eggs a year.
     Now with Cobb he is responsible with regional technical manager Philippe Gouault for the Middle East area where both the Cobb 500 and the recently introduced Cobb Avian breeds are continuing to gain market share.

Cobb - Primary Broiler Breeders
Cobb - Primary Broiler Breeders

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 5 new features this week.

Assessing The Results Of The EU Ban On Antibiotic Feed Additives
By Hector Cervantes, DVM, MS, Dip. ACPV, Manager, Poultry Technical Services, Phibro Animal Health Corp. - The European Union (EU) banned the use of avoparcin, a widely used antibiotic feed additive in food-producing animals in 1997. The ban was carried out against the advice of the Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition (1,22), a panel of experts composed of animal scientists from various EU countries.

Feeding Quail
By Dr. Tom W. Smith, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Poultry Science, Mississippi State University - When incubating any bird egg it is important to control the same factors of temperature, humidity, ventilation, and egg turning. The chart shown below lists the major incubation factors and the values of each that produces the best incubation conditions for the species of birds shown.

Site Selection Factors for new Poultry Facilities
By Charles Goan, Professor, Animal Science, University of Tennessee - Farmers considering building poultry facilities on their farms must give considerable thought to the location of the new structures.

Organic Market Report 2005
This article from the Soil Association provides a summary of their Organic Market Report 2005. The report highlights that sales of organic products in the UK increased by 33% in 2004. Whilst the main focus of the summary is on the UK, the report also touches on aspects of the European and Worldwide organic production.

Effects of Feed-Borne Fusarium Mycotoxins on Hematology and Immunology of Turkeys
By S. R. Chowdhury, T. K. Smith, H. J. Boermans, and B. Woodward, University of Guelph and published by Poultry Science - Feeding grains naturally-contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins has been shown to alter the metabolism and performance of turkeys.

That's all for this week.


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