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Changing poultry production spurs diseases, says Ceva expert


May 26, 2017 - Animal Pharm
By Malcolm Flanagan
Animal Pharm
May 26, 2017 

Ceva Santé Animale poultry expert Dr Marcelo Paniago believes poultry broiler production has changed as quickly as any livestock sector in the past decade, bringing new disease challenges requiring new efficient solutions.

Dr Paniago, director of global veterinary services, told attendees to the Ceva Innovation Summit in Bangkok recently the poultry industry has expanded rapidly into tropical regions with challenging disease scenarios and new production issues.

The new high production poultry regions include Central America, Africa and South East Asia. At the same time, emerging poultry producers are creating much larger poultry complexes with higher stocking densities. This means broilers are more likely to be in cages not open barns. Also, these regional locations could have a large number of production complexes in the same locality.

The density of production complexes does not mean all farms have the same level of biosecurity, which means diseases could circulate more easily. Quite often in such complexes, there can be labor shortages and untrained workers are left to carry out important production and disease prevention tasks.

There may also be consumer pressure to restrict the amount of antibiotics and vaccines that could be used in treating and preventing disease in global chicken complexes. Dr Paniago said modern requirements for poultry disease vaccines are quite clear. They should be: safe and effective; able to be administered in hatcheries; and capable of significantly reducing the shedding of a challenge virus.

He also noted the global prevalence of infectious bursal disease (IBD) makes chickens more susceptible to E coliinfection and the poultry respiratory disease airsacculitis. At the same time,  antibiotic-free poultry production can be compromised by inadequate IBD protection by producers.

"The poultry industry has changed completely over the past few decades and producing broilers today has become much more challenging. Besides safety and efficacy, the reduction of disease shedding has become extremely important to achieve the goal of raising broilers without antibiotics. Vaccines that are able to help producers reach this goal are already commercially available and should be used," said Dr Paniago.

Previously, Dr Paniago has warned the rise of huge production complexes for poultry in Asia was spurring disease outbreaks. In 2015, he indicated production facilities of more than a million birds are often located in very densely populated areas in China and South East Asia.

He said high stocking densities in Asian poultry farms creates strong disease pressure. Often they are staffed by poorly qualified workers unable to use vaccine equipment properly.

"It is necessary to have a broad approach to the situation, rather than simply focusing on the microorganism and vaccine efficacy. We have to look at improved biosecurity, the physiological limits of birds, workers training, farm legislation and the potential eradication of some poultry diseases. Without such a broad approach, respiratory diseases will continue to inflict enormous losses to Asian producers for a long time to come," said Dr Paniago.

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News 

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