Calif. poultry industry focuses on biosecurity

SACRAMENTO – While the news of threatening poultry diseases, including the outbreak of avian influenza in Asia, spreads across the world, California producers are leading the way in strengthening biosecurity measures.

“Our California industry has actually taken the concepts of biosecurity and expanded it into new realms to help protect their flocks,” said Carol Cardona, an associate poultry veterinarian with the University of California-Davis Cooperative Extension.

Cardona said the industry has developed regional biosecurity programs where individual producers and neighbors are linking up to help each other prevent the spread of disease.

“Our poultry farmers are very concerned about being good neighbors to each other and to their communities,” Cardona said.

Last week the industry’s mission was further strengthened by a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency.

The new grant helps continue the industry’s biosecurity efforts which were launched in 2003 with a separate $75,000 USDA grant.

“Growing concern about avian flu strains that have affected people and poultry flocks in Asia should be a reminder that we need to strengthen California’s defenses against diseases,” said Paul Venosdel, California’s Rural Development director.

“These grants provide important training to producers to strengthen the state’s firewall against diseases that can undermine the health of the state’s poultry industry, our nation’s food security and the economic benefits that poultry producers provide,” he said.

The grants were given to the California Poultry Federation, which has an ongoing program to educate small poultry producers and processors about biosecurity measures in the Northern and Central valleys of the state.

The new grant funds will be used specifically to get materials into the hands of small producers whose first language is not English, said Mark Looker, a California Poultry Federation spokesman.

Source: Capital Press
calendar icon 9 September 2005
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