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Weekly Overview: Greener Feed Ingredient for Chickens

07 May 2015

GLOBAL - A co-product from the biofuels industry has the potential to reduce the UK's reliance on imported oilseed meals, a recently completed research project has revealed. Pressure is mounting on the US poultry industry to reduce the use of antibiotics, while a UK-based processor has announced it will stop using those of importance in human medicine. Finally, there is an update on avian flu in the US, Taiwan, Turkey and Burkino Faso.

Distillers dried grains with solubles made from wheat (wDDGS) offer the potential to reduce reliance on imported feed ingredients without compromising the performance or health of UK pigs and poultry, according to the results of a four-year project presented recently.

An important co-product from the bioethanol industry, wDDGS could make a significant impact in improving the sustainability of these sectors by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Based on trials carried out during the project, up to 10 per cent wDDGS can be included in the diet of broilers and 7.5 per cent for layers, without compromising performance or egg quality.

Changing topic, animal welfare and food safety groups in the United States are urging the poultry meat industry to use antibiotics responsibly, including the implementation of better welfare practices.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Center for Food Safety have issued a joint statement in response to recent announcements by chicken producers and retailers that they will reduce or eliminate the use of antibiotics in their flocks and supply chains.

In the United Kingdom, 2 Sisters has announced it will remove antibiotics used in human medicine from its poultry production. The company is also setting up two trial farms to identify techniques to reduce overall antibiotic use in future.

Avian flu of the H5N2 variant continues to spread in the United States, despite efforts to bring the current 'epidemic' under control. More than 25.7 million commercial poultry have been lost in the 133 outbreaks confirmed to far, prompting warnings of shortages in supplies of eggs and turkey meat and higher prices for consumers in the coming months.

The number of new outbreaks of avian flu (H5N2 and H5N8) in poultry in Taiwan continues to grow but, with 10 new cases in the last week, the situation there appears to be past its peak.

Turkey has had its first H5N1 bird flu outbreaks for seven years in two regions, and there have been new outbreaks in Burkina Faso.

Following several outbreaks of bird flu in its poultry in December and January, The Netherlands has declared itself free of the disease.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden





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