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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 5th December 2005

ThePoultrySite.com's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter ThePoultrySite.com's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 5th December 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 fresh bird flu outbreaks have killed more poultry in the two northern provinces and birds were dying in a third area, the Agriculture Ministry said. Six outbreaks have prompted workers to slaughter 20,400 birds there, the ministry said on Saturday.
     Bird flu has killed or resulted in the slaughter of 1.94 million poultry since the virus returned in early October and has now spread to 17 of Vietnam's 64 provinces, most in the north, as winter arrives.
     The H5N1 virus which thrives best in cooler temperatures has infected 133 people in Asia since late 2003 and killed 68 of them. Vietnam alone has recorded 93 human infections, 42 of them fatal.

The Vietnamese cattle and pig breeding sector is developing quickly as avian influenza ravages the poultry industry, says to the Agriculture Ministry. They said that the prolonged presence of bird flu has led the husbandry sector to concentrate on cattle breeding in areas where pasture and feed processing industries are available with buffalo and goats well-suited to mountainous areas and pigs to delta areas.

With a yearly health budget among the lowest in Southeast Asia, and sanitation problems unlikely to be solved any time soon, Indonesia is a study in how poor nations are struggling to prevent the spread of the H5N1 avian flu virus threatening human populations, reports Bloomberg.
     Indonesia has had outbreaks of the flu in fowl in 23 of its 33 provinces, and so far 12 people have become sick and eight of them have died through contact with infected birds.

In China, a controversy has broken out over newspaper reports that a top Japanese virologist has alleged China is concealing hundreds of human deaths from bird flu. According to the report, Masato Tashiro, an advisor to the WHO and director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, made the remarks at a gathering of virologists in Germany on 18 November.
     But in an interview with the journal Science, Tashiro denies he made the allegation, saying he only meant to state that surveillance of bird flu in China is poor. FAZ reported that Tashiro showed a table documenting several dozen outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain in China, with a final toll of at least 300 human deaths and more than 3,000 people in quarantine.
     Official records list only 3 confirmed human cases of H5N1 in China, two of them fatal. China's foreign ministry has called Tashiro's alleged remarks "baseless", and a spokesman for the WHO's influenza programme has said the agency has no reason to believe China is concealing human H5N1 cases.

Admitting that Hong Kong's "weakest link" in combating avian flu is the slow pace of separating poultry from humans, the health chief said that a regional slaughtering scheme will begin coming on line in late 2007.
     Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, York Chow was responding to criticism by medical sector legislator Kwok Ka-ki, who warned the slow progress in implementing the segregation policy is putting Hong Kong in a precarious position.

The Philippines has banned the importation of birds and poultry products from British Columbia after a strain of the bird flu virus was reportedly discovered there, the agriculture secretary said Friday. The ban covers domestic and wild birds, day-old chicks, eggs and semen, according to the Department of Agriculture.
     It directed authorities to suspend processing of import and quarantine permits and confiscate all shipments of poultry and poultry products from the province already in the country. Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States have temporarily halted poultry imports from B.C. as well. Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban said the move was prompted by a report by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that a low pathogenic H5 strain of the virus was detected in a commercial duck farm in B.C. on Nov. 18.

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In the US, turkeys at a farm in North Carolina tested positive for the mild low-pathogenic strain of bird flu, the USDA said Thursday. Routine tests conducted on poultry in North Carolina found the H3N2 strain of bird flu in turkeys on a farm in Sampson County, in the eastern part of the state, the USDA said.
     The low-pathogenic disease found in North Carolina has appeared elsewhere in the United States this year, according to USDA. Among the findings this year, low-pathogenic bird flu was discovered in several Japanese quail on a farm in California near Sun Valley.

Farmers, veterinarians and meat processors who routinely come into contact with pigs in their jobs have a markedly increased risk of infection with flu viruses that infect pigs. While the findings are not entirely unexpected, the strikingly higher risk of infection coupled with the fact that pigs can be infected by swine viruses, avian viruses as well as human flu viruses - thereby acting as a virtual virus "mixing bowl," especially on farms where pigs, chickens and people coexist - is a potential public health concern, a study asserts.

Many believe the best way to deal with the nutrients in manure is to keep them from coming out of the animal to begin with. By better managing what goes in an animal’s mouth, scientists say they can reduce, sometimes dramatically, the amount of nutrients coming out the other end.
     “By far, the most cost-effective way to minimize the environmental impact of the large volumes of manure generated within the watershed is through adjusting feed formulation for poultry and livestock,” a report has said.

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The government should focus less on stockpiling human medicines against a potential bird flu pandemic and more on preventing the virus's spread among animals, a poultry industry executive has said. The executive said he made the comments in a closed-door meeting Wednesday between poultry company leaders and the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
     "It seems to me, as an industry observer, that a lot is being expended on trying to stockpile Tamiflu, which may or may not work," said John Smith, director of health and hatchery services for Fieldale Farms, a poultry company based in Georgia.

Hoping to find an efficient way to help power automobiles and trucks, researchers at the University of Arkansas say they have developed a way to convert chicken fat to a biodiesel fuel. Brian Mattingly's research allows biodiesel producers to assess different materials to see what works best. Producers will be able to choose the best way to convert different grades of chicken fat into fuels. R.E. Babcock, a professor of chemical engineering, said chicken-fat fuels are better for the environment and the machines.

Experts and authorities from across the Americas issued a declaration on Friday aimed at joining hands to prevent bird flu outbreaks and to collaborate in case that the disease reaches Latin America, officials said. Participants in the Hemispheric Conference on Vigilance and Prevention of Bird Flu promised to cooperate politically, technically and financially to fight the disease that has already caused the death of 68 people in Asia.
     The three-day conference, which started Wednesday in the Brazilian capital city, agreed on a series of preventative measures at the levels of nations and regions and across the continent, to tackle the increasing risk of bird flu.

Cobb - Primary Broiler Breeders
Cobb - Primary Broiler Breeders

In the UK, a promise by Defra that it will reduce the burden of red tape on farming and give clearer guidance on forthcoming legislation has been generally welcomed by farm leaders. But concern has been expressed at the lack of regulations so far identified for attention and at plans to introduce levies to share the costs associated with an outbreak of disease.
     "We want to free farmers to do what they do best," he said. Tim Bennett, NFU president, said the strategy was good news as it signalled a new direction for government and a willingness to consider alternatives to regulation, such as voluntary schemes, training and education. But Mr Bennett stressed he was unhappy about the prospect of farmers being charged a disease levy, as the government had responsibilities here too.

In Romania, new bird flu cases were discovered last Saturday evening in the village of Ciocile, Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said. The Braila County village was quarantined and thousands of birds were being killed, the Bucharest Daily News reported. Flutur said further tests in a British lab will determine whether it is the deadly H5N1 strain.
     Previous tests on Thursday detected the H5 virus in the nearby villages of Bumbacari and Dudescu, also in the county of Braila. Romania has already confirmed H5N1 in the delta villages of Ceamurlia de Jos, Maliuc and Caraorman. The virus is believed to have been brought by birds that migrated from Russia to the delta, a large wetland reservation, the newspaper said.

Ethiopia is testing pigeons found dead in the the east of the country for the virulent form of avian flu, a Ministry of Agriculture official said on Friday. Members of the public alerted authorities to the bird caracasses found in the eastern Somali region of Ethiopia, said Seleshi Zewdie, director of the animal health department in the Ministry of Agriculture.
     The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has not yet been found in Africa and Seleshi said the tests were precautionary. "It is unlikely that the disease is bird flu. It could be a local disease strain," Seleshi said. He added that the Somali region was not along the migratory routes which birds follow when travelling through east Africa.

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

In India, poultry producers in Tamil Nadu are likely to hike the prices of eggs and broiler this week, expecting a short-run demand perch. Buoyed by the increase in demand and exports for eggs, despite a low production, the National Egg Coordination Committee has hiked the egg prices by five paise to Rs 1.45 (US$ 0.02) a piece, from last week’s Rs 1.40. The price is expected to touch Rs 1.50 by this week-end. Similarly, the state Broiler Coordination Committee is also planning to revise the chicken prices soon.

Company news

Schering-Plough Animal Health Corp, a global leader in advancing the health and welfare of animals, was celebrating its 50th anniversary last week. To commemorate this milestone and to show appreciation for the partnership of veterinarians through the years, SPAH is donating $50,000 to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to support its Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT) program.
     Established in 1963, AVMF is the largest national veterinarian-directed charity dedicated to disaster preparedness and response. The donation from SPAH was presented to Robert P.Gordon, DVM, AVFM immediate past chair, during a ceremony marking the milestone anniversary held on November 30th at the Schering-Plough offices in Summit, New Jersey.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 3 new features this week.

Genetic progress inspires changes in incubator technology
By Dr Marleen Boerjan, Pas Reform Hatchery Technologies - Genetic changes in broiler and layer breeds have an effect on incubation conditions. Traditional setpoints must be reviewed, whereby scientific research and new technologies provide the tools to better match the needs of the modern breeds.

The Avian Influenza Threat - Biosecurity doesn't cost - it pays!
By DuPont Animal Health Solutions - Since December 2003, devastating outbreaks of Avian Influenza have decimated flocks of poultry in many countries, forcing a radical review of biosecurity measures. The consequences of Avian Influenza are immediate and financially severe. However, with thought and planning, a comprehensive biosecurity system can be implemented in order to minimise the impact of further catastrophic outbreaks.

Allocating Feed to Female Broiler Breeders
By Brenda Schneider and Martin Zuidhof, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Frank Robinson and Rob Renema, University of Alberta - Managing broiler breeders is a new challenge with every flock as breeder companies produce new and improved “models” that have better growth efficiency and productivity than the year before. At the same time producers have been getting better at raising highly uniform flocks.

That's all for this week.

Ed.

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