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ThePoultrySite Newsletter - 12th December 2005's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter's Weekly Poultry Industry Newsletter
Monday 12th December 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in Europe, where Brussels' most recent offer on trade liberalisation will mean "very real challenges" for European farmers, offering substantial new market access to other countries, admits agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.
     The offer includes a cut in average farm tariffs from 23 to 12 percent and an opening of markets in "sensitive products" such as pork. Fischer Boel says she cannot understand why Brazil and the US are complaining the offer does not go far enough.
     "So far, we are yet to see any meaningful commitment from the US to discipline its use of food aid to offload domestic surpluses. We need to find the right way to do this while making sure that genuine food aid continues to play its essential role. Likewise, the US must accept real disciplines on its export credit programmes.
     The UK's farming industry leaders have branded the government's vision for the future of CAP as "one-sided" and "out of date". The joint paper, from DEFRA secretary Margaret Beckett and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, was tabled in the run-up to key discussions on the EU budget and trade liberalisation.

The Food Standards Agency was last week accused of failing to tackle the illegal meat trade as efforts continued to track suspect meat distributed by a coldstore in Northern Ireland. A senior enforcement officer involved in previous investigations told the Guardian the FSA was failing to keep track of illegal meat traders.
     The Eurofreeze coldstore was raided last month after it was linked to an illegal shipment of chicken from China, intercepted in Belfast.

In Romania, five new suspected cases of avian flu in domestic birds were identified in Buzau county west of the Danube delta, where the deadly virus was first isolated in October, officials have said.
     Avian flu has been found in birds in more than a dozen villages in and around the Danube delta, Europe's largest wetlands which lie on a major migratory route for wild birds. Four outbreaks have been confirmed as the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain.

In China, the poultry product and people's health symposium was held in Guangzhou this week. As part of the symposium, a chicken banquet was organized despite the outbreak of bird flu in China. Deputy Secretary of Guangdong CPC Committee commented that as long as citizens are careful and adhere to the safety precautions when cooking chicken, the chicken will be safe to be consumed. He added that Guangdong had allocated over 60 million RMB (US$7.6m) to subsidize the province's poultry farmers to conduct chicken bird flu immunity work.

Bird flu may force many poultry farmers in Vietnam into bankruptcy, as more skittish consumers shy away from their products, an official said Tuesday. The virus is causing some 700 billion dong (US$44 million) in losses each month because poultry products cannot be marketed, said Tran Cong Xuan, president of the Vietnam Poultry Farmers Association.
     "Never before has the poultry industry been in such a difficult situation," he said. "Many poultry farmers are on brink of bankruptcy because customers are turning their back to poultry and poultry products."

Japan announced a package of measures totalling $135 million today to help Asian nations battle bird flu. The steps, unveiled at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), include assisting Asian nations stockpile antiviral drug Tamiflu. Tamiflu is considered to be one of the best defences against bird flu in humans, and Tokyo will help the countries store enough Tamiflu to treat 500,000 people.
     Japan will also host an international conference in January bringing together Asian nations, health agencies and donor countries, to discuss measures to deal with a possible outbreak of a new form of influenza among humans.

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Efforts to control the spread of bird flu in poultry in Southeast Asia are being hampered by the use of ineffective and often fake agricultural vaccines, a virologist said Thursday. As a result, ineffective animal vaccines could be increasing the threat of the virus evolving and being able to pass to humans, triggering a potentially catastrophic pandemic, said animal flu specialist Robert Webster.
     To combat the problem, Webster, director of the WHO's Collaborating Centre for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza in Animals and Birds, called for more rigorous minimum standards for agricultural vaccines. "There are good vaccines and bad vaccines. Good vaccines reduce virus load; bad vaccines stop the signs of disease but the virus keeps replicating, spreading and evolving," he told reporters in London.

Australian poultry processors will need to meet new safety standards under proposals designed to decrease levels of harmful bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter. Under the proposals, open for consultation, poultry processors will only be able to accept poultry from farms that comply with the regulations and they must control food safety hazards during the slaughtering process.

In New Zealand, the Government wants arrangements made for a guaranteed supply of antibiotics in case of bird flu. Securing a supply of the drugs is part of the planning underway for a potential influenza pandemic, reports RadioNZ. Health Minister Pete Hodgson says the demand for antibiotics is expected to spike dramatically if there is an influenza pandemic.
     He said that most deaths in the 1918 pandemic were caused by secondary bacterial infections; so securing a supply of antibiotics is important. Meanwhile, Mr Hodgson says the Government's plans do not amount to stockpiling, as the drugs will be put to general use before their expiry dates.

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A quarantine on dozens of poultry farms in British Columbia's Fraser Valley was lifted Saturday after they were found free of avian influenza.
     The Canadian Food Inspection Agency declared chicken and duck farms in two surveillance zones disease-free following 21 days of negative test results. The agency quarantined the farms as a precaution after a low-pathogenic strain of the H5N2 avian flu virus was found at two duck and geese farms in November.

Turkey's Agriculture Ministry said on Friday that the country is now clear of bird flu after imposing quarantine and killing more than 10,000 birds at the site where it was originally found, the western region of the country. The virus which was identified as the H5N1 strain of the flu was first found at a farm near Manyas, just south of the Marmara Sea.
     "A report declaring the termination of the epidemic was sent to the OIE on Dec. 8," the ministry statement said. "After carrying out a series of clinical and laboratory tests, no more traces have been detected."

Although Iraq has not recorded recent cases of bird flu, a health scare is already driving up the price of other kinds of meat, reports ENS. The Iraqi government is attempting to prevent an outbreak of avian flu by banning poultry imports from at least 20 countries, including neighbors such as Kuwait and Turkey, which have reported cases over the last few months.
     The Ministry of Agriculture reported that in October, a dead bird in northern Iraq proved not to have the deadly H5N1 strain, but that hasn't eased the fears of many Iraqis, who are increasingly choosing not to eat poultry. "We refuse to have chicken, even if it means we are forced to eat only bread and onion," said Samar Talib, a 37 year-old housewife in Baghdad who has stopped buying poultry because of bird flu fears.

Reaching new peaks of performance
Reaching new peaks of performance

Zimbabwe's avian flu outbreak among ostriches is the H5N2 strain which is not dangerous to humans, a veterinary official has confirmed. The H5N2 strain can be lethal to birds but unlike the H5N1 version that has killed 70 people in Asia it poses little risk to people. "We know it is H5N2 but we need to isolate it to see if it is the highly pathogenic form or not," the official told Reuters.
     The outbreak has been detected on two ostrich farms in the country but all have been placed under quarantine, dealing a fresh blow an agriculture sector which has been hard hit by drought and the often chaotic seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

In the US, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced recently that USDA has awarded $5 million in grants to researchers who will seek new ways to help small farmers remain profitable. Through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), 15 colleges and universities in 13 states will receive grants of $500,000 to better understand what makes small and mid-sized farms and rural communities prosper.

Brazilian poultry processing giant Perdigao has acquired part of the Victor Priori Business Group. The former will incorporate Incubatorio Paraiso and the poultry-breeding farm, both located in Brazil's Goias state, and assumes the contracts with 71 integrated producers established in the region. At the same time, an agreement has been signed with Gale Agroindustrial to carry out the slaughter and processing of poultry for Perdigao.

Company news

As part of moves to strengthen the global sales team for Cobb breeding stock, Kate Barger has been appointed from the export department to become sales representative for Central America and Mexico. She succeeds Winfridus Bakker who takes up a new role to oversee the development of Cobb Avian products throughout the world. Aldo Rossi, formerly US sales manager, becomes director of North American sales and technical services responsible for the US, Canada, Mexico and Central America.
     The moves follow the announcement of the new senior management structure with Stan Reid, who has been general manager for North America for the past two years, appointed to vice president for North America and Asia.

VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant
VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant

* 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.

Diagnosing respiratory problems in poultry - Common signs are Common
By DuPont Animal Health Solutions - Respiratory disease is not uncommon in poultry production and can be associated with significant clinical signs and morbidity. The exact nature of the clinical signs and the level of subsequent mortality can be determined by a variety of factors.

Minimising Neighbours Complaints
By Dan L Cunningham, Extension Coordinator, University of Georgia - Poultry production in Georgia and the United States continues to grow and expand to meet the demand by consumers for this high quality food item. At the same time, however, we are experiencing increasing urbanization and loss of agricultural lands in many areas of the country.

That's all for this week.


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