It’s tempting to be a little complacent about outbreaks of avian influenza in the US and Europe, but if ever we needed reminding that the threat is never really very far away, two outbreaks have been reported on ostrich farms in the Eastern Cape. More critically, further north on the continent, West African countries are battling to contain the deadly disease that’s ravaged poultry production in a number of countries over the last six months. It’s clear that the avian influenza outbreak sent a cold shiver up the spine of the US government as they’re now scanning the environment for other deadly threats like Marek’s Disease – and how to prevent them. Read up on this and other updates in our International News section, as well as the latest from our northern cousins in the Northern Views and ‘Today in the USA’ columns.
On the subject of disease, it appears there’s a rather alarming matter of financial contagion spreading around as a company offering a poultry production scheme with returns that are too good to be true, is in fact, too good to be true. There’s a letter from Kevin Lovell to that effect in the piece entitled ‘A warning to the industry’. Don’t miss it – you’ve been warned!
It’s an alarming fact that the 7 billion people on our planet consume one-and-a-half times the natural resources we should use in a year. Read about this and the role innovation in agriculture has to play in feeding the world in our lead story ‘Accepting innovation in food production’.
For the past few months, our PDMA column has carried an article on the subject of anti-microbial resistance, or AMR. This month, we also carry a little food for thought on whether antimicrobial use poses a threat to human health by the CEO of V-tech, as well as an article by Professor Robert Bragg and his team from the University of the Free State on potential treatment options in a post antibiotic era, which if you missed it at Avi Africa is a must-read. You be the judge, but whatever your conclusion, clearly there’s a lot of work to be done on the matter.
We’re delighted to hear that industry stalwart Chris Schutte has made a full recovery and returned to work at Astral, especially given the effort he made to resolve the issues around the Agoa renewal and anti-dumping duties on US bone-in poultry imports. Welcome back Chris – we wish you good health!
Finally, thanks to Neil Malan of Hermanus for sending through a clipping from The Daily Telegraph, that reported the world’s oldest person Susannah Mushatt Jones, who turned 116 recently, attributes her long life to her daily breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs for over 100 years. Elgin apple farmers are on notice - does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?