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 looking at the latest bird flu news in the Netherlands.
calendar icon 24 March 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 looking at the latest bird flu news in the Netherlands.

Costa Rica

The United States and Costa Rica concluded negotiations under the U.S.-CAFTA agreement in January, 2004. The agreement is pending approval by the Congress of each country. Costa Rica’s WTO tariff binding is 45% for most countries. However, there are sensitive products, like poultry, that can have tariff rates ranging from 34%- 150%. Once the agreement is implemented , it is anticipated that U.S. agricultural products will become more competitive as duties decline and remaining non-tariff barriers are expected to be eliminated or phased out.

The most significant trade barrier for U.S. exports to Costa Rica is the plant inspection requirement for export plants. A 1993 regulation requires all meat export plants to be inspected and approved by the Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) before they can export to Costa Rica. The Government of Costa Rica had approved a new regulation in 2003 that allowed the approval of equivalent inspection systems, however, they still have not approved the U.S. inspection system. The system approval process has been put on the agenda as part of CAFTA..

Sources: Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign
Trade Statistics; Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA


Test results confirmed on March 12, 2004 the presence of highly pathogenic H7N3 Avian Influenza (AI) on a chicken farm in southern British Columbia. This is the second outbreak in British Columbia. Approximately 16,000 birds were killed on the first farm and 32,000 on the second farm. The Government of Canada (GOC) established a control area to prevent further disease spread. The area is the Fraser Valley and includes the Greater Vancouver Area, but not Vancouver Island or the Okanagan Valley. The GOC has also temporarily banned poultry products being exported from the Lower Mainland region.

What is unusual about the last out break is the second farm had both low and high path strains. The GOC, in an effort to reduce such an occurrence from happening again, is seeking to create a program that routinely tests flocks across the country.
Source: Multiple News Sources

European Union

Health officials in the Netherlands have confirmed that 2 poultry farms, a free range chicken farm and a free range duck farm, had been infected with low-pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI). The 22,000 chickens were destroyed on March 13, 2004 and 800 ducks on March 15, 2004.

In response to last year’s AI out break in which the more than 30 million birds were forced to slaughter, or approximately one-third of the commercial stock, and after consultation with poultry industry, a monitoring system and early warning system was set up so that any harmless strain of AI can be eliminated before it develops into an aggressive form. Under the monitoring system, blood samples are taken once a year on all poultry farms. On free range farms blood samples are taken once every quarter because of their ability to come in contact with wild birds that can carry low pathogenic AI. The Netherlands have tested approximately 1,000 farms so far.

Meanwhile, the European Commission for Health and Consumer Protection is preparing a Contingency Plan. The Contingency Plan would set a series of steps to be taken by member states and the European Community to address the threat of an influenza pandemic. The Commission views an influenza pandemic not a matter of if, but when. Currently, they perform surveillance for AI strains that might mutate into highly pathogenic strains, have a communicable disease network for flow of information and consultation between experts, a contingency plan in case an out break occurs, are establishing an European Center for Disease Prevention to be operational by early 2005 and analyzing plans by acceding states.
Source: Various Sources


India’s domestic consumption, however, suffered a blow during the first quarter of 2004 with the occurrence of Avian Influenza (AI) in the surrounding countries. Even though no AI was reported India, egg and poultry consumption dropped by 40 percent in some parts of the country due to consumer concerns. The farm gate broiler price went as low as Rs 10-20 compared to a cost of production of Rs 30-32.

Some say the industry has already lost Rs 500-800 crore and counting since the beginning In January and was losing in a range of Rs 15-20 crore per day. India, in an effort to prevent high path AI from getting into the country, has banned imports of grand parent stock and vaccines of avian origin. About one third of broiler chick supplies and one fifth of layer chick supplies depend on foreign breeding stock imports.

Retail prices for frozen chicken dropped from Rs 60 per kg before AI to Rs 30 per kg with branded products still selling at the same rate after AI. Other parts of the country noted ‘dressed’ chicken meat selling upwards of Rs 60 kg at retail. Reports have been noted that chicken demand has started to return to normal, however, eggs ere lagging.

Egg sales in some parts of the country were 100 eggs per day and had dropped to 100 eggs every 4-5 days after AI.
Source: Various News Sources

To view the full report, including tables please click here

Source: USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - 23rd March 2004

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