Tackling Immunosuppression in Commercial Flocks Theme of Merial Event

US - Controlling immunosuppressive diseases in poultry and how this relates to economic productivity in the industry was the theme of the Merial IBD Summit II held in Atlanta on Monday.
calendar icon 1 February 2017
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“The main purpose of this summit was to provide updated technical information to the industry worldwide about immunosuppression diseases in poultry operations. It's a costly economic impact. It opens the door to respiratory and intestinal problems,” said Rafael Fernandez, Merial’s director of technical veterinary services for Latin America (pictured above).

The daylong event titled 'Improving economic productivity by controlling immunosuppression', included presentations from veterinarians and scientists from around the globe as well as workshops on incubation, vaccination, and ventilation, and poultry genetics. The first summit was held in 2010, also in Atlanta.

Fernandez said it’s imperative to control immunosuppressive diseases such as chicken anaemia virus, infectious bursal disease - also known as gumboro - and Marek’s disease. These issues are really important to the industry as a whole, said Fernandez, as well as for Merial, which provides “the right vaccines to control these diseases.”

Initially, the summit was aimed at Merial’s Latin American customers, but there was such a positive response to the program that they decided to open it up to everyone, requiring resources in both Spanish and English, and doubling the attendance to 180 participants, he said.

“For me, the main message that we gave to our customers was to show that the protection of the immune system in poultry is really important. If you don't control the immune diseases you're not going to control other diseases in poultry. The immune system is the foundation. That's the key,” said Fernandez.

The Summit was timed to coincide with the International Production and Processing Expo also in Atlanta. Fernandez said the IPPE event gives Merial the chance to present its new innovations, equipment and vaccines and to give people a chance “see how the industry worldwide is growing.”

The recent acquisition of Merial by Boehringer Ingelheim has been a smooth transition thus far, according to Fernandez.

“During these first months I've been happy with the integration,” he said. “I feel it's going to be strong for our growth in the market.”

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