BIRD FLU HITS SCOTLAND
Bird flu hits Scotland
The Scots government has confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza on a local farm in Fife, although initial tests indicate that it is the H5N1 low pathogenic strain of the disease.
To try and stop the disease spreading, an exclusion zone of one kilometre has been established around the Craigies Poultry Farm on the outskirts of Dunfermline, and the flock of 40,000 birds will be culled. Controls include restricting the movement of poultry, eggs, carcasses, used litter and manure.
This latest outbreak follows a number of reported cases of bird flu across parts of Europe in recent months, including three in the UK last year.
"We have taken immediate action to contain this case as part of our robust procedures for dealing swiftly with avian flu,” said Sheila Voas, Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer.
"Evidence suggests this is a low severity form of the virus however we are taking action to ensure that the disease does not spread or develop into a more severe form. "I would urge poultry keepers in the surrounding area to be vigilant for any signs of disease and to
ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises."
Dr Jim Mcmenamin, consultant epidemiologist and respiratory infection lead for Health Protection Scotland, said this strain of avian influenza, together with the actions that have been taken, means the the risk to human health is considered very low.
"Health Protection Scotland continues to work closely with Animal Health throughout this investigation," he said.¡
Going green and online in 2016
Market research just released has suggested that producers need to focus on sustainable, environmentally friendly production on the one hand and an e-commerce path to market on the other.
Market research company Mintel says livestock from sustainable sources and a move by consumers towards online shopping are two of the primary trends for 2016. Producers therefore should consider the importance of environmental sustainability in their operations and the importance of communicating this as consumers have an ever-increasing number of food buying options online.¡
French AI outbreak slows
Following the detection of several outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in France, the number of cases has increased by only 1 to a total of 65 according to the French Department of Agriculture, indicating that the outbreak is under control.
First detected in the Dordogne, the HPAI quickly spread to other regions, although around 50% of the new incidences reported were found during the compulsory inspection of birds destined for slaughter. Restrictions currently in place on the transport and export of birds and hatching eggs are still in force, and will remain so until further notice.¡
Deadly AI infects Chinese
Vietnam has sounded the alarm as reports surface of as many as six people in
China contracting the deadly H9N2 and H7N9 strains of avian influenza, first detected in China two years ago and regarded by the WHO as “an unusually dangerous virus for humans”.
The Vietnamese government has stepped up its surveillance and analysis of the situation, while simultaneously embarking on a public awareness campaign and improving medical services to prepare for any eventuality.¡
Ukraine bans Russian imports
In a retaliatory move against Russian meat embargos, the Ukraine has imposed a total ban on 43 agricultural products from her neighbour. These include pork and poultry, the amounts of which according to Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture are “insignificant”.
Unfortunately for the Ukraine, while poultry has alternative export markets, Russia had previously bought all the country’s pork production, so the trade war is likely to hurt the Ukraine the most.¡
Health giants to merge?
Negotiations between Merial, the animal health division of Sanofi, and Boehringer Ingelheim are underway in a proposed transaction that will position Boehringer as the secondlargest supplier of vaccines and other pharmaceutical products to the poultry and pork sectors. If successful, the merger will conclude towards the end of 2016.¡
Chicken manure used for environmental objectives
The poultry industry emits annually 600 million tons of CO2, 65% of which can be reduced by using Poul-ar technology developed by Dutch company Colsen BV.
The technology converts chicken manure into renewable energy and fertilisers, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions while producing valuable fertiliser for the worldwide food suppliers - a perfect example of a circular economy where sale of the product is economically interesting for poultry farmers themselves.
There are 79 million chickens in the Netherlands. Their manure can provide 426,000 Mwh/year of electricity to 127,000 households. Additionally, 40 million kg of nitrogen and 13 million kg of phosphate are recovered from the manure annually. The nitrogen fertiliser replaces artificial fertilisers that consume a great deal of energy to produce. The phosphate-fertiliser replaces the one from the finite phosphate rock.
The Poul-ar technology is based on nitrogen removal from poultry manure via two consecutive biological and chemical processes. The nitrogen released as ammonia is recovered as a nitrogen fertiliser, while the manure is then digested to produce biogas. This biogas is subsequently converted into the electricity and heat. Approximately 15% of the electricity is required for the own Poul-ar processes, with all the released heat recovered and used to make the fertilisers.¡
Iraq bans SA poultry
Notwithstanding the fact the AI has not presented in South Africa’s chicken flocks, Iraq has extended a ban on imports of all local fresh and frozen chicken from the country. The Iraqi government has included South Africa with countries where HPAI has been detected, including France, China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Ghana, Israel, India, Mexico and Egypt.¡
Russia set for Iranian exports
The new year will see Russia set to export beef and poultry to Iran from mid-january, while Iranian companies could be given duty-free access for poultry meat to Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
“We are offering to improve terms of trade for Iranian businesses, meaning a drop and, in some cases, even the abolition of customs tariffs, especially for agricultural products,” said Russia’s Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev.¡