CLIMATE CHANGE THREAT
AI in poultry feed
In a presentation delivered at the IPPE in Atalanta, Georgia, USA, the importance of treating feed was highlighted by the fact that the Avian Influenza virus may survive in feed, thus adding to the potential sources of transmission and contamination.
While migratory birds are considered to be the main source of infection, Dr Gino Lorenzi of Anitox believes that feed is a major culprit in breaching individual farm biosecurity as migratory birds settle and shed on feed raw materials.
The clustered incidents of AI outbreaks following an initial detection could be linked to the virus’s ability to survive in water sources, and the frequent transfer of passerines and vermin between water and stores of finished feed.
“We know small birds and rodents are efficient mechanical vectors, and that they are attracted to water and feed, effectively building a bridge between migratory birds and farmed poultry,” he said.¡
Free range hosts old diseases
Free-range hens are more likely to suffer from diseases such as Coryza, Blackhead and Pasteurelle multocida compared to their caged counterparts.
Following the trend towards more animal-friendly environments, including enriched cages and free range, in the Netherlands, poultry veterinarian Dr Naomi de Bruijn of Dutch company GD Animal Health examined reports relating to a number of poultry diseases within the country.
“What stood out were the statistics of old poultry diseases that almost didn’t appear before,” she said. “We noticed a rise in occurrence as a result of the switch to free-range housing systems.”
With layers no longer kept in cages, they have more contact with other birds as well as litter, dust and pathogens. As a result, bacteria, viruses and parasites can spread quickly throughout the house.
“Ill birds particularly excrete vast amounts of pathogens with the manure,” she said. “As pathogens remain in the environment, animals can be infected again and again.”¡
Eggs best for breakfast
Confirming what nutritionists have known for a while now, a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing found that eggs for breakfast instead of cereals or porridge, will keep children fuller, for longer.
The high protein levels in eggs compared to the carbohydrate loaded grain cereals also contributed to children eating less at lunch time, keeping them slimmer and fitter.
“We expected that reduced lunch intake would be accompanied by lower levels of hunger and greater fullness after eating the high protein breakfast, but this wasn’t the case,” said Tanja Kral. “I’m not surprised that eating the egg breakfast was the most satiating.”¡
Frozen bacteria to replace antibiotics?
A3,5-million year old bacteria found in 2012 in the permafrost layer in Siberia by Russian scientists possibly holds the key to replacing antibiotics in poultry feed.
The Bacillius F bacteria can improve the efficiency of poultry feeding by enhancing the feed conversion rate, and can possibly become the source for a new line of immunomodulatory drugs. This could lead to a partial abandoning of antibiotics in poultry farming.
A preliminary study on the use of the bacteria in poultry feeding has been conducted, with laboratory tests on mice and preliminary tests on chickens. Scientists have developed a drug formula that includes the new bacteria and colloidal silver, which will be tested in a large-scale study at several poultry farms in the next few years.
“Our hypothesis is that the bacteria in the permafrost are not in suspended animation but are in a so-called state of hypometabolism. This means they continue to function,” said Andrei Subbotin of the Tyumen Scientific Centre.¡
Climate change is world’s biggest threat
For the first time in the 11 year history of the World Economic Forum’s Risk Report, an environmental issue – climate change – has occupied the number one spot on the list of global risks to world economies. Of the remaining four, another two are a result of climate change, and include extreme weather conditions, failure to mitigate and adapt to these changes, and major natural catastrophes.
The report says governments’ failure to cope with increasing global temperatures poses significant risks to uninterrupted production, food security and financial stability.
“Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth and increased security risks,” says the chief risk officer of the Zurich Insurance Group, Cecilia Reyes.¡
AI accord signed
The governments of the United States, Mexico and Canada as well as poultry and egg industry associations from the three nations have entered into an arrangement to enhance collaboration on avian influenza and to work toward harmonising procedures for responding to possible future detections of the virus.
The historic governmentindustry collaboration saw animal health authorities from the three countries, as well as heads of trade associations that represent the poultry and egg industries, signing a Letter of Understanding (LOU) on avian influenza during a ceremony in Los Cabos, Mexico.¡