International Egg and Poultry Review

By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week following the latest news in the Avian Influenza outbreak.
calendar icon 18 February 2004
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International Egg and Poultry Review - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week following the latest news in the Avian Influenza outbreak.

World Reaction to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

On February 13, FAO said around 80 million chickens had been culled in Indonesia (15 million), Thailand (30 million), Vietnam (30 million) and Pakistan (4 million). Information on China was not available. Asia has around 40 percent of the world's poultry population and accounts for 25 percent of world trade in poultry.

Control strategies include surveillance, movement control within the country, and closing some live markets. Thailand, Vietnam , Indonesia, Pakistan, China and Taiwan are using mass slaughter to control the spread of avian influenza. Hong Kong SAR, China, Indonesia and Pakistan are using vaccinations.

China is using a combination of culling, vaccinations, and quarantines. On February 10 China reported 2,287,000 birds had been culled and 5,484,500 had received compulsory vaccination. China processes over eight billion birds a year, about 22 million head daily.

The United Nations announced it was giving Cambodia, Laos, Pakistan and Vietnam $1.6 million to help them battle avian influenza. The European Union announced they would provide EUR 1 million ($1.277 million) to support Vietnam’s efforts to combat HPAI. The EU has already sent a number of experts to Vietnam to assist in efforts to eradicate HPAI and prevent further transmission of the influenza to humans. The World Bank offered Vietnam a loan of $10 million to help the poultry industry recover.

Countries that have not been affected by the outbreak reviewed or created contingency plans in case of future outbreaks in their countries.

Singapore planned to hold a mock cull to evaluate procedures for an actual cull if avian influenza reaches their country. They planned to gas and incinerate 5,000 healthy chickens at an isolated farm.

Hong Kong is prepared to cull the entire poultry flock (2.7 million birds) at the first sign on an outbreak.

In 2002, Brazil established a program to monitor migration birds from the South Pole, Argentina, and Paraguay. Since 2003 the program was expanded to monitor and test birds with the potential to carry the Avian Influenza virus. Brazil has tightened controls at ports and airports for tourists and visitors arriving from Asia and prohibited visitors from Asia from visiting Brazilian farms.

Trade Restrictions

Japan announced temporary suspensions on poultry and poultry products from Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and China. Saudi Arabia Ministry of Commerce banned imports of live birds and chicken meat from China, Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Pakistan. The Saudi government also banned imports of live birds from Guinea and Ghana.

Effective February 3, India banned imports of birds, bird products (including feathers) and live pigs and pig meat products from all countries.

Brazil prohibited imports of paddy rice from Asian countries and added new restrictive import requirements for imported poultry genetics.

The EU responded by taking safeguard measures to ensure adequate protection against disease via imports of live birds and poultry products from the concerned countries. Member states already have contingency plans in place.

Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the U.S.

Japan, China, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Poland, and Saudi Arabia banned imports from the U.S. after low pathogenic avian influenza was detected in Delaware. Russia, Mexico and the Philippines only banned poultry products from Delaware. Some countries allowed continued imports of canned and fully cooked product. On November 5, 2003, the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture banned imports of live U.S. birds, including day-old-chicks, due to fears they might be infected with the West Nile Virus.

Chronology of Events

South Korea reported its first case of avian influenza to the OIE on December 12, 2003. Subsequent testing confirmed the virus was H5N1, HPAI. A second outbreak was reported on December 17, 2003.

On January 5, 2004 Thailand was suspected of having HPAI. The government said not a single case of avian influenza had been confirmed, however there had been a problem with fowl cholera since mid-November 2003. HPAI was later confirmed on January 23, 2004.

On January 8, Vietnam reported a confirmed case of HPAI and on January 12, Japan reported a confirmed case of HPAI. Taiwan reported a case of low path avian influenza (H5N2) on January 20.

Cambodia confirmed the presence of HPAI on January 24, and Laos on January 27. Hong Kong reported HPAI had been isolated in a single falcon, however the domestic bird population was not infected. On January 27, Pakistan confirmed H7 on three layer farms.

On February 3 Indonesia confirmed outbreaks of HPAI, followed by China on February 4. On February 5, South Korea confirmed two more farms with HPAI.

February 8, an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza was reported at a farm in Delaware, US.

February 17, HPAI was still spreading in Asia and new outbreaks were reported in Japan, China, and Thailand. Health officials warned it could take two years to conquer the outbreak of HPAI in Asia.

Sources: World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE),, Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific, European Commission, World Bank, Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, various news wires. To view the full report, including tables please click here (PDF Format)

Source: USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - 17th February 2004

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