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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.¡

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