UNITED ON ANTIMICROBIALS
Bird flu ravaging Russia
Afurther six outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in central Russia and the discovery of infected poultry in retail stores has sent shock waves through the country’s poultry industry.
Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s veterinary authority, reportedly found several batches of turkey infected with bird flu on supermarket shelves. The product was sourced from the Eurodon poultry farm, which was the subject of an outbreak in April, although the company has pointed to potential sabotage as the reason, saying that it practices the most advanced safety technologies and biological control at its facilities.
The latest bird flu outbreaks have been recorded in Kransnodar Krai, Udmurt, Bashkortostan, Chuvash and Tatarstan, where following detection in early May, more than 450 000 birds have been culled at the Laishevo poultry plant.¡
New slaughterhouse for Poland
As part of its expansion plans, Poland’s QFG has started work on a new 40-million Euro poultry slaughterhouse with a capacity of 270,000 head in 24 hours. The new facility will create around 600 jobs, and prepare the company for aggressive expansion into EU markets as well as cater for the local market.
QFG’S product range consists of processed meat products including sausages,
steaks, strips, burgers, wings and wrapped medallions, all of which will be produced at the new plant, situated in the Tarnobrzeg special economic zone.¡
More scandal hits Brazil
Hot on the heels of the ‘rotten meat’ exposé comes the news that seven executives of Brazilian meatpacker JBS have been fined a total of US$225 million in a plea bargain related to their role in a corruption scandal involving government officials and politicians.
Those implicated include the billionaire Batista brothers, who have agreed to fully cooperate with authorities as part of the deal.
Another Brazilian meatpacker, Minerva Foods, is also cooperating with federal authorities who are investigating corruption inside the Agriculture Ministry. The investigation entitled ‘Operation Lucas’ is looking into allegations spanning six years relating to agribusinesses bribing officials for protection, which included delaying or cancelling fines.¡
Three years to double production
A major Australian poultry producer is set to double its meat production in three years following a US$51 million investment to build a leadingedge feedmill and hatchery in the western part of the country.
The move forms part of the Ingham’s Group’s expansion strategy that will move production from its existing base to the new site, and allow the company to double the volume of chicken produced in the next three years. The project will also create another 1 000 work opportunities in addition to the 8 000 people already employed.¡
US probes poultry prices
Following several civil lawsuits filed last year in Illinois that several chicken processors had colluded to fix prices, the Florida attorney general’s office has begun an investigation into Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride.
Tyson Foods is already under federal investigation for allegedly conspiring to raise the price of poultry. In another action, the company, together with other producers, is facing a class action lawsuit from a group of chicken farmers who claim that the companies have colluded not to compete for the services of farmers to raise chickens.¡
United stance on antimicrobials
Following its April meeting, the International Poultry Council (IPC) has published a united position statement on the responsible use of on-farm antibiotics. This is in response to increasing pressure on the poultry industry regarding the use of antimicrobials.
“The IPC acknowledges antimicrobial resistance is a global concern and that the poultry industry must adopt management practices that reduce the use of this antimicrobials for which resistance could pose the greatest global risk,” said IPC president Jim Sumner.
The statement sets out safeguards for the efficacy of antimicrobial use while considering factors relating to animal welfare, resistance, food safety and other consumer concerns.¡
AI upsets Ukrainian exports
Nine outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been recorded in the Ukraine since late last year, with several countries subsequently imposing restrictions and banning poultry and egg imports from the country.
While major poultry regions were unaffected, the outbreaks created havoc among poultry exports, with full bans imposed by Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar and China, and restrictions from the EU, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong UAE, Moldova and Belarus.
Although it has been months since the last recorded outbreak, Volodimir Lapa, head of the Ukraine’s State Food and Consumers Service, said AI risks will be increased in the coming months due to the spring migration of wild birds.¡