VIV ASIA: Animal Health Summit Sets Direction for Safe and Healthy Production13 March 2013
THAILAND - On 14 March, VIV Asia 2013 takes on the greatest challenge for the worldwide livestock and meat sector: solutions for the problem of disease resistance caused by the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry. The Animal Health Summit is therefore the most important conference of the event. It will be the first time that this prominent, social theme will be associated with an exhibition in Asia.
Ruwan Berculo, Project Manager for VIV Asia 2013, is fully aware that the antibiotic problem is a delicate subject on a platform that will be attended by the worldwide meat industry.
He said: "We want to show that this topic is being taken seriously. Animal health is a big issue in countries where the need for animal protein is great and where the livestock industry is experiencing an explosion in growth. We have encountered those problems previously in the western world and three years ago we decided we didn’t want this theme to be avoided. In the meantime, awareness of the problem has also become apparent extremely quickly in Asia.
"For example, the problem is very topical in China, where we are seeing food safety being examined with extreme diligence. This is logical, because they want to comply with western standards for animal and human health as quickly as possible – not just for the benefit of their own people but also to be able to export. Governments are also becoming involved and so we want to establish a programme that offers solutions for emerging economies in this region," said Mr Berculo.
The topic of antibiotics, which leading scientists will be discussing with top executives in the industry, is clearly keeping visitors and exhibitors at VIV Asia occupied.
Mr Berculo commented: "Two-thirds of the exhibitors are engaged in the themes of animal health and welfare and in one way or another all of the visitors to the exhibition are affected by this problem. We have a network of companies and experts that allows us to take the required know-how to Asia. During the closing conference for top executives in the industry we will be providing examples of successful projects that have resulted in reduced consumption of antibiotics."
The organisation will be ensuring that a one-sided story is not presented.
"That’s why the manufacturers of animal medication will also be present and will be telling us about the consequences associated with a change to the antibiotics policy. We believe it's important to provide a complete picture by listening to both sides of the discussion," added Mr Berculo.
Seminars on this topic will be held in the morning, prior to the closing conference, during which 12 companies will be allocated 30 minutes each to express their vision and their solutions for the antibiotics problem.
A new aspect for VIV Asia is the focus on dairy.
Mr Berculo explained: "We have seen a sudden major interest development in Asia for dairy, which has arisen from the use of dairy by trendy coffee companies, in drinks and ice-cream. The out-of-home market for dairy is growing explosively. This consumer interest is also due in part to increasing affluence. Because dairy is animal protein we believe it should also be included at VIV. Our event is attracting a very broad range of trade professionals, so we want to bring them face to face with dairy technology.
"We have organised a small conference and we’ll be looking at how we can develop that in the future. It’s something new for us and we may promote this more the next time by including a pavilion at the exhibition because it’s our clear intention to develop dairy further via VIV," he said.
The main focus of VIV, certainly for Asia, is poultry, aquaculture and meat products (meat processing).
Mr Berculo said: "That's true, and it may seem that the pork meat chain is somewhat underrepresented. With lots of visitors expected from countries such as China, Viet Nam and Thailand, pig farming is something that we don't want to neglect, so that's why we're organising a seminar that focuses specifically on this chain.
"During this seminar, we want to make it clear that we don't just have equipment on show at the exhibition but that we also want to disseminate know-how about pig farming and pork production. We aim to do justice to the developments in pig farming and demonstrate that we cover more than just poultry and fish farming," added Mr Berculo.
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