Today in the USA
As the US emerges from the AI outbreak, the focus is on disease.
AI outbreak at an end
The USDA has announced that the last confirmed outbreak in laying hens occurred in Wright County, Iowa on 17 June. To date, 42 million layer hens and replacement pullets have been depopulated, representing 10% of producing hens and 6% of replacement pullets.
Thirty six farms were infected in Iowa, five each
in Minnesota and Nebraska, two in Wisconsin and one in South Dakota, for a total of 49 premises.
The Spring 2015 HPAI epornitic involved 210 commercial units of which 159 comprised turkey growout farms, 49 egg production complexes or rearing pullets and two mixed species. All farms have been depopulated at the present time. There are no presumptive positive cases awaiting confirmation by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.
CDC investigates small hatchery Salmonella outbreaks
An intensive nationwide investigation of salmonellosis is underway in the U.S. According to a June 29 release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 181 cases in 40 states reported, representing four distinct outbreaks with clinical signs apparent from January 6 through to June 13, 2015.
The Salmonella serotypes identified include:
• S. Enteriditis. 40 cases from 16 states with 33 hospitalisations;
• S. Hadar. 69 cases from 30 states with 19 hospitalisations;
• S. Indiana. 56 cases from 16 states with 9 hospitalisations;
• S. Muenchen. 16 cases from 8 states with 2 hospitalisations. Interviews with 95 patients disclosed that 86 % had close contact with a newly acquired chick, poult or duckling within a week of onset of symptoms. All poultry was purchased from small mail-order hatcheries or from feed and farm-supply stores.
In 2014, the CDC completed a multi-year study implicating a mail-order hatchery in Ohio as the source of a multi- state outbreak involving 363 confirmed cases of salmonellosis in 43 states.
The banning of interstate transmission of small pet turtles in the 1970s effectively eliminated this source of infection. This precedent should be considered for small hatcheries to prevent ongoing outbreaks. At the very least appropriate warnings should be issued by mail-order hatcheries regarding the risk of contracting an infection from newly-hatched poultry. If the regulatory system and the medical establishment cannot eliminate this obvious source of Salmonella infection then perhaps the legal profession may be more effective.
Dutch egg processors prepare to export to US
According to the Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN Report Number NL5019, four Dutch egg processors
were awarded eligibility to export to the U.S. This follows a June 2014 declaration of equivalence with USDA and USDA-FSIS rules and standards as determined by audits.
A new health certificate will be required to allow the four processors to ship product. The Netherlands currently exports 165,000 metric tons of egg products annually to a value of $400 million. Of this total, approximately 25% is further-processed. Holland last exported product to the US in 2012.
Eligible processors comprise Bouwhuis Enthoven B.V.; Adriaan Geode B.V.; Interovo Egg Group B.V. and Van den Berg Eiproducten B.V.
JBS acquires Moy Park
JBS SA of Brazil has acquired the Moy Park Ltd., business from Marfrig Global Foods SA. JBS will pay R15 billion in cash and will assume debt totaling R3.6 billion.
The acquisition will allow JBS to supply markets in Britain and the EU. In commenting on the deal, Moy Park executive, Jeremiah O’callaghan said “this transaction represents an important step in the JBS strategy to grow its portfolio of prepared and convenience products with high valueadded products”.
In 2013, JBS purchased SEARA from Marfrig expanding domestic production in Brazil.
USDA implements surveillance of HPAI in migratory birds
According to a July 2, 2015 release by USDA, two surveillance programs will be introduced to monitor waterfowl populations for HPAI commencing in July 2015 and extending through March 2016. The first plan of the US Interagency Strategic Plan for Early Detection and Monitoring for Avian Influenza of Significance in Wild Birds will involve federal, state, university and nongovernmental organisations. The second plan, the 2015 Surveillance Plan for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Waterfowl in the United States, outlines surveillance procedures through March 2016.
The respective plans were developed by the Interagency Steering Committee for Surveillance for HPAI in Wild Birds. The Committee included contributions from USDAAPHIS; Department of the Interior; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; CDC; and the National Flyway Council.
The survey will include teal, mallards and pintails among other birds. Specimens will be obtained from live captured migratory birds, from hunterkilled birds and also fecal samples.
It is considered essential to investigate the epidemiology of various avian influenza strains in migratory birds. The presence of potentially highly pathogenic strains should serve
as an early warning to the poultry industry. The greatest concern is introduction of H5 and H7 strains into the Atlantic flyway and also the possibility of the emergence and dissemination of novel reassortants with enhanced pathogenicity or infectivity.
Price rise in UK blamed on US AI
According to a recent press report, the chairman of the British Egg Products Association, Elwyn Griffiths, commented that prices of domestic eggs in the UK have increased by as much as 60% during June as a result of outbreaks of HPAI in the US.
These dire warnings of price escalation from the industry association are regarded as puffery since there is no evidence that significant quantities of either egg liquid or shell eggs have been diverted from the EU or UK markets to the U.S. Enquiries to the USDA-AMS have not generated any specific figures but impressions conveyed by contacts suggest that quantities of breaking stock and some liquid has been imported - but nowhere near the volume that would affect either EU or UK domestic prices.
Unfortunately figures on imports run approximately sixty days behind product entering the US and publication of statistics by USDAFAS. Accordingly it will be at least six weeks before actual data is released and can be analysed.
Projected poultry production 2015 and 2016
The recent HPAI outbreak did not affect the broiler industry other than by reducing exports of leg quarters resulting in a loss in revenue of R18.5 billion. This will be made up in part by diversion to the domestic market and by subsequent exports of frozen product in storage when embargos are lifted.
The egg industry was severely impacted by the loss of 30 million hens and 3 million pullets with 85 percent of mortality complexes of 1 to 4 million hens held for eggbreaking. Per capita egg consumption will decline by over 5 percent in 2015→
compared to 2014 and the rate of rebuilding flocks will depress consumption in 2016.
Turkey production was affected by the loss of 7 million growing birds representing 10 percent of inventory. Since breeders were spared, restocking farms will proceed rapidly.
Alternatives to growthpromoting antibiotics
Dr Steve R. Collett, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Georgia, reviewed alternatives to conventional feed additive antibiotics on May 19 at the Alltech Reblation Symposium held in Lexington, KY. In introducing the topic of alternatives to antibiotics, Dr Collett stressed consumer concerns and actions by regulatory authorities to restrict the use of nontherapeutic antibiotics.
The Food and Drug Administration has agreed with 25 pharmaceutical manufacturers to withdraw label approval for growth promoting antibiotics effective January 2016. This action parallels the declaration by many quick service and restaurant chains to phase out serving chicken raised with feed-additive antibiotics. Major integrators in turn have announced that they have either withdrawn or are in the process of phasing out antibiotics. Exceptions are made for specific therapeutic applications under veterinary supervision and will not involve drugs that are common to human therapy.
Dr Collett has for a number of years promoted the use of probiotics, prebiotics and essential oils to manage the composition of intestinal flora in order to promote beneficial organisms. His approach has been shown to achieve growth rates and feed conversions equivalent to flocks receiving antibiotic additives.
The system advocated comprises the sequence:
• “Seeding” - involves providing the chick with beneficial intestinal organisms in the form of a probiotic spray at the hatchery or as an additive to feed or water. These “beneficial” genera include lactobacilli and enterococci
• “Feeding” - proliferation
of beneficial flora is encouraged by supplementing diets with organic acids. Administration can be carried out during the first seven days, during stress or after any therapeutic use of antibiotics.
• “Weeding” - involves selective exclusion of potentially deleterious flora using competitive exclusion cultures, essential oils or prebiotics which inhibit pathogens. A major deterrent to completely “drug-free” programs is the withdrawal of anticoccidials including the ionophore class of compounds. Mild coccidiosis can result in proliferation of Clostridium perfringens in the intestinal tract resulting in enterotoxemia which is manifested as necrotic enteritis, hepatitis and even gangrenous dermatitis.
Dr Collett stressed the need for appropriate environmental management of houses, with special attention to ventilation which influences litter quality and in turn influences coccidiosis and enterotoxemia.¡