Revolutionary new stunning method launched on the EU market

anoxia-presentatie-foto-3-overviewCelle, December 22, 2016, by Harm Kiezebrink

Revolutionary new technique

After 10 years of research & development a revolutionary new stunning technique is introduced. Based on the principles of animal welfare as described in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the International Standards of OiE: The Anoxia technique – stunning and killing animals by placing them under atmospheric conditions in an environment without oxygen. The solution is not only simple and safe and cost-efficient; it is also not physically demanding to the farmer and his employees.


Animal welfare

The principle guarantees that the animal(s) are placed in an environment with pure nitrogen, once the high expansion foam, filled with 100% nitrogen, replaces the atmospheric air inside the container. From that moment on, the animal inhales pure nitrogen, an atmospheric gas that all living species are used to and that can be inhaled without any physical reactions because atmospheric air contains 78% nitrogen that is inhaled by every breath.


Simple technique

The newly developed and patented technique is simple. All it needs is a soap dispenser connected to a water tap; a soap concentration; a bottle of pure nitrogen including a regulator; a standard waste 240/340/370 liter wheelie-bin container; and the Anoxia lit that closes and seals of the container. Inside the container, a high expansion foam generator is placed, connected to the water/soap and nitrogen through flexible tubes, connected to the inside of the lid. A chiffon is added to the lid, in order to allow atmospheric air to escape the container when it is filled with foam.

Standard Operating Procedure

According to the Standard Operating Procedure, the water/soap and the nitrogen tubes are connected to the electrical valves on outside of the Anoxia lid. Then the animal(s) are placed in the bin, next to the foam generator. The lid is closed and the foam production is started.


Stunned within 30 seconds

After 30 seconds, the container is filled completely with foam. At the moment that the foam is placed in the container via the chiffon, the foam production is stopped and the chiffon is sealed off. Throughout the foam production process the animals remain calm. The high concentration of nitrogen replaces the oxygen in the blood and via the longs; nitrogen is transported to the organs instead of oxygen. The first organ that reacts is the brain that immediately shuts of consciousness.

Body reactions

The contractions of the muscles start after the brain is no longer able to control the movements of the muscles and is not a sign of stress, like with traditional gas stunning methods, where oxygen is gradually replaced with gasses like CO2 or Argon.
Therefore the Anoxia technique is the revolutionary alternative for existing stunning methods that are based on the use of CO2, electrocution, neck dislocation, captive-bolt, as well as killing methods like de-bleeding and maceration.


Anoxia applications

Several applications based on the Anoxia principle are now introduced for:
1. Stunning and sick and cripple killing piglets less than 5 kg
2. Stunning and killing of sick or cripple poultry (especially poultry > 3kg) who need to be killed on the farm by the staff for welfare purposes (avoiding unnecessary stress or pain)
3. Stunning and killing poultry that arrives on the slaughterhouse but that are unfit to be slaughtered (due to injuries occurred during transportation – providing signs of possible illness etc.)
4. Stunning and killing of male pullets at the hatchery
5. Stunning and killing of half-hatched chickens and embryos in partly-hatched eggs, before destruction
6. Stunning and killing parent stock poultry
7. Killing of animals that has been stunned (captive bolt – blow-on-the-head method, etc.) replacing killing by de-bleeding
8. Culling of ex-layers
9. Culling of poultry for disease control purposes


Sales started December 2016

The first application that’s introduced on market in Germany, Holland, Sweden and Denmark can be applied for Stunning and killing piglets less than 5 kg; – poultry > 3kg (turkey and parent stock); and embryos in partly-hatched eggs.

More info

For more detailed information on the Anoxia technique, please visit www.Anoxia.EU, or send your request for information to the N2GF team at info@n2gf.com and one of our consultants will come back to you as soon as possible.

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Korea’s response to birdflu outbreaks complete fail: Disaster for poultry industry

sanatizing-rivers [at the picture – Large mobile sprayers spew sanitizers into Seongho Reservoir in Icheon, Gyeonggi, on Thursday, to prevent highly pathogenic avian influenza from spreading in the region.] Published at December 15, 2016 in the Korean Joonang Daily.

Avian Influenza in Korea

It’s official – the H5N6 avian influenza (AI) virus that touched down in Korea one month ago. It has caused the largest amount of damage the domestic poultry industry has ever experienced with bird flus. That’s 284 farms hit, nearly 15 million ducks, chickens and quails culled, and more to go. No other AI virus in the past has killed this many birds. Egg prices are soaring, now fixed at around 6,580 won ($5.63) per tray of 30 at the largest discount retail chain, E-Mart. Paris Baguette raised prices by an average of 6.6 percent earlier this month, their first hike in almost three years.

According to local experts, the crisis will last through April 2017 unless the government dramatically reforms current measures, which have been criticized for being far too weak. In an article published Tuesday, the Korea JoongAng Daily wrote that the first major government meeting discussing the outbreak was not held until one month after the virus was discovered on Oct. 28 in Cheonan, South Chungcheong, in the feces of migratory birds. By then, it had been a week since it reached nearby farms.

Measurements

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced that it would “negotiate” whether to raise the national AI crisis level to the highest of the four-tier system, from the current level 3. On Thursday it was upgraded. “Things can really get worse unless the central government closely collaborates with regional governments and farms,” said Seo Sang-heui, a veterinary medicine professor at Chungnam National University in Daejeon.

Kim Jae-hong, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Seoul National University, warned that for the domestic poultry farming industry the next one to two weeks will be a matter of “life or death.” One problem is that regional governments are not doing enough to quarantine areas, due to a lack of human resources and money. In a recent investigation by the Ministry of Public Safety and Security, there were 20 cases in which a government office wrote on official documents they set up an AI control team for their communities, but did not actually do so.

In Sejong City, a farmer was caught shipping off 100,000 chickens to his retailers last month and reporting to the government the next day that his farm appeared to be hit by AI. It later tested positive and authorities are now investigating whether he had known about the infection ahead of time. In a country where the government relies on farmers to report viruses on their own, and punishes those who turn out to have failed to take proper quarantine measures in the first place, many farmers hesitate to report their circumstances. Moreover, movement bans are imposed on poultry farmers and their vehicles at locations where the virus has tested positive, but rarely are these restrictions taken seriously.

Choe Nong-hoon, a veterinary medicine professor at Konkuk University in Seoul, thinks it is time for Korea to reform its entire poultry farming industry as current circumstances will only attract more forms of AI in the future. In Korea, chickens are normally raised in a closed, artificial setting, Choe said, as opposed to European countries and Japan, where free-range farming is more common. Free-range farming is more expensive, but cheap goods can be replenished by foreign imports, said the professor. “It’s about time to negotiate changes in related policies not just for Korea’s poultry industry,” Choe said, “but for the sake of public health.”

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WHO warns of H7N9 pandemic

birds-in-container

H7N9 Pandemic?

Published at 15 December 2016 in The Standard Hong Kong, by Mary Ann Benitez and Carain Yeung.

World Health Organization director- general Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun warns bird flu H7N9 is particularly worrying as it could be a flu pandemic strain. This is because H7N9 is unique as it does not make chickens sick but is deadly in humans. Sick birds could usually provide early warning for imminent outbreaks, Chan told The Standard. This comes as Macau reported its first human case of H7N9 yesterday. “The biggest challenge for the world is the next influenza pandemic,” Chan said.

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New outbreaks of avian influenza in Europe

New outbreaks of avian influenza in Europe

New outbreaks of avian influenza have been reported among wild birds and poultry across Europe since the end of October 2016. The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 virus is identified in Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

EFSA investigation

EFSA experts are supporting Member States in their data collection activities. These collections are aimed at identifying how the virus enters poultry farms and the risks posed by wild birds. This information will help EFSA to re-assess the risk of introduction of avian influenza into the EU. The risk assessment is based on new scientific knowledge. The updated scientific advice will be published in 2017.

The European Commission has called on Member States to be vigilant and to reduce the risk of further outbreaks. They will do so by taking measures such as increasing biosecurity levels in poultry holdings and backyard flocks.

EFSA has worked on this topic extensively in recent years. Its work has included a scientific opinion on migratory wild birds and their possible role in the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

outbreaks of Avian influenza

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Dossier H7N8: Frigid Air Slows Efforts to Euthanize Turkeys in Indiana

 

Frigid Air Slows Efforts to Euthanize Turkeys in Indiana

ABC news online, Jan 18, 2016. Frigid temperatures are hampering efforts to euthanize turkeys at several southwestern Indiana farms where a strain of bird flu was found last week, freezing the hoses used to spread a foam that suffocates the affected flocks, a spokeswoman for a state agency said Monday.

The H7N8 virus was discovered on 10 turkey farms in Dubois County, which is Indiana’s top poultry-producing county, last week.

Temperatures that dipped into the teens and single digits over the weekend stymied efforts to fill the affected poultry barns with the foam to a level just above the turkeys’ heads to suffocate them, said Denise Derrer of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.
“The water’s been freezing up. It’s slowing things down, but we’re doing the best we can,” she said.

Derrer said state workers, staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others have been using carbon dioxide gas instead of the foam. Other turkeys are being killed manually with a device that delivers a fatal head injury, but that method is slow and inefficient, she said.

While the USDA has a goal of euthanizing infected poultry within 24 hours of the discovery of infected flocks, it’s not a requirement, Derrer said, adding that workers are trying to euthanize flocks as quickly as possible.

As of Monday, nearly 120,000 turkeys had been killed on four of the farms, while efforts to euthanize about 121,000 turkeys continued on six other farms.

The H7N8 strain is different than the H5N2 virus that led to the deaths of 48 million birds last summer, mostly in the upper Midwest.

The first farm where H7N8 was found had a highly contagious form of the virus, Derrer said, but tests by USDA staff have shown eight of the other nine turkey farms have a “low pathogenic” form, meaning the birds are more likely to get sick but not die.

The results also suggest that the outbreaks were caught earlier in the disease cycle before the virus had a chance to mutate and become more virulent.

Test results on viral samples taken from the ninth farm are still pending. All of the affected farms were within six miles of the first one; officials are still monitoring other farms and backyard flocks within that distance, Derrer said.

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Dossier H7N8: All flocks in Indiana ‘euthanized’?

All flocks in Indiana ‘euthanized’?

WattAgNet.com, January 21, 2016. Depopulation has been completed at 10 turkey farms with confirmed avian influenza detections and another nearby layer farm deemed at risk. Depopulation procedures have been completed at 11 farms in Dubois County, Indiana, after the presence of H7N8 avian influenza had been detected at 10 of those farms.

According to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, 413,163 birds have been depopulated since avian influenza was first confirmed in Dubois County on January 15. Of the birds euthanized, 257,163 were turkeys and 156,000 were layer chickens.

Ten of those farms were commercial turkey operations, while the layer operation was not infected with avian influenza. However, the Dubois County layer flock was depopulated as a precaution because of its “dangerous” proximity to the affected flocks.

The first and largest turkey flock to be affected was confirmed to have been infected with highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza, while nine others were confirmed to have been hit by a low pathogenic strain of H7N8. The other turkey flock tested positive for the presence of H7N8 avian influenza, but it has not yet been determined whether it was a highly pathogenic or low pathogenic strain.

The flock hit by highly pathogenic avian influenza included 62,213 turkeys.
The bird carcasses from those farms are being composted in the buildings in which they were euthanized.

The Indiana agency reported that during a 24-hour period that started on January 19, 114 commercial farms tested negative for avian influenza. Of those, 62 farms were in the initial 10-kilometer control zone, while the others were in an expanded zone that covered an additional 10 kilometers. The expanded zone includes not only Dubois County, but also Crawford, Daviess, Martin and Orange counties.

State and federal teams have visited nearly 1,600 residences near the site where the first confirmed avian influenza case occurred to search for backyard flocks for precautionary testing. The teams found 67 backyard flocks within that area, and those birds are being tested.

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Dossier H7N8: USDA APHIS confirmed outbreak on commercial turkey farm in Dubois county, Indiana

Avian Infuenza in Indiana

Bloomberg Business online, January 15, 2016. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it confirmed the diagnosis on January 11, 2016, the presence of a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana, the country’s first case since the end of last year’s outbreak that led to the destruction of 50 million animals.

The H7N8 strain discovered at a 60,000-bird flock in Dubois County is different from those that caused last year’s outbreak, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service said Friday in a statement on its website. Federal and state authorities are monitoring and testing the nearby area, it said, without naming the exact site.

The USDA contacted countries that buy poultry and eggs after the detection and hasn’t received any notice of official import restrictions, T.J. Myers, associate deputy administrator at the inspection service’s APHIS, said on a conference call with the media. The USDA is working to “minimize the trade impact,” Myers said.

U.S. poultry producers have been on edge after recent cases in France. The 2015 U.S. outbreak, which ended in June, led to record-high egg prices and caused some shortages of turkey deli meat used in subs and sandwiches. It cost the industry $3.3 billion.
Rapid Response

Producers have been discussing the new outbreak in a series of conference calls since they first became aware of the Indiana case late Thursday, said John Brunnquell, president of Egg Innovations LLC, which produces free-range eggs in farms across the Midwest. The response has been rapid, with the killing of birds going on throughout the night, he said in an interview.

“The timing of the disease was a surprise because most in the industry did not think it would reappear for another two or three months,” said Terry Reilly, a senior commodity analyst for Futures International LLC in Chicago.

Preliminary tests indicate the H7N8 strain found in Indiana was of North American origin, according to the USDA’s Myers. The USDA will conduct diagnostics to seek a cause for the mutation of the virus, he said.
Different Strain

Determined to avoid a repeat of the nation’s worst-ever avian-influenza outbreak, the USDA stockpiled millions of doses of a new vaccine designed to fight the 2015 strain, which is different than the one in Indiana, Myers said.

“Concerns are huge, but we cannot pull the panic button until we know quite a bit more,” said Bill Lapp, the president of Advanced Economic Solutions in Omaha, Nebraska. “Because it is found in a different state, and is a different strain, it makes an even greater mystery.”

Sixty-five egg and turkey farms are within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the affected barn, said Brunnquell of Egg Innovations. The area is home to an estimated 4.5 million egg-layers and about 1 million to 2 million turkeys.

Producers within 10 kilometers of the affected barn can’t move products or animals without testing to determine if they are free of the virus, Denise Derrer, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Board of Animal Health, said in a telephone interview.
Testing Birds

The affected producer began terminating birds in nine other barns on the farm after tests showed the virus was highly pathogenic. A bird flu test conducted by a Purdue, Indiana, laboratory came back positive yesterday, Derrer said.

No other signs of the virus have yet been detected, she said. Government teams will travel to the area to contact people raising backyard flocks on Saturday to test more birds.

Indiana’s poultry industry ranks fourth nationally in turkey production, first in duck production and third in eggs. It also is a significant producer of broiler chickens.

Shares of poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. closed 5.2 percent lower in New York, the most in three months. Tyson Foods Inc., which produces chicken and other meats, fell as much as 5.5 percent before closing down 2.7 percent.

The case of avian flu in Indiana doesn’t involve Tyson, Hormel Foods Corp., Cargill Inc., Maxwell Farms LLC’s Butterball or Sanderson Farms Inc., according to company e-mailed responses.

The news of the case of bird flu was a boost for Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the largest U.S. egg supplier. Its stock jumped as much as 11 percent before closing up 5.2 percent.

Avian influenza doesn’t present a food safety risk. All shipments of poultry and eggs are tested to ensure the absence of avian influenza before moving into the food supply. The Centers for Disease Control considers the risk of illness to humans to be very low.

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Ventilation Shutdown

Who takes the responsibility to flip the switch?

On September 18, 2015 the USA Government and the American egg producers announced that they would accept the Ventilation shutdown method as a method of mass destruction of poultry when other options, notably water-based foam and CO2, are not available for culling at the farm within 24-36 hours. This is actually the case on all caged layer farms in the USA, in particular in Iowa.

The Ventilation shutdown method consists of stopping ventilation, cutting off drinking water supply, and turning on heaters to raise the temperature in the poultry house to a level between 38 Celsius and 50 Celsius. Birds die of heat stress and by lack of oxygen in a process that easily takes over after a period of at least 3 days. Ventilation shutdown is a killing method without prior stunning of the birds, and as such is contrary to all international Animal Welfare standards.

Animal welfare specialists in disease control strongly oppose this introduction of the cruelest method of killing poultry that lost their economic value. The Humane Society (HSUS) described it as the “inhumane mass baking of live chickens”. With adequate preparation the alternative methods, like the water-based Anoxia foam method, can be available at each farm for immediate use in case of an outbreak. The ban of the Ventilation shutdown method should therefore be maintained and the Anoxia method should be further developed so that is suitable for application to caged layers and turkeys. In Germany, such a system is currently under development and will become commercially available soon.

The poultry industry in the USA ignores this development and asks for a formal approval of the Ventilation Shutdown method. Speaking on August 19, 2015, during the United Egg Producers (UEP) national briefing webinar, UEP President Chad Gregory explained that much research is being done concerning the feasibility of such a depopulation program.

“The government, the producers, the states and UEP, we all recognize that depopulation is going to have to happen faster and ideally within 24 hours.”

Quick depopulation of affected flocks is important, Gregory said, because the sooner a flock is depopulated, the risk of the virus going into fans and out into the atmosphere becomes smaller. Gregory said ventilation shutdown – if approved – would probably only be used in a worst-case scenario or when all other euthanasia options have been exhausted. Gregory did not elaborate on how to adequately prevent outbreaks and how to promote more animal-friendly methods.

The latest draft of the USDA Foreign Animal Disease Preparation Plan was published on August 25, 2015, and the publication of the Ventilation Shutdown Evidence & Policy on September 18, 2015, effectively created facts on the ground. This was done in a unilateral way, without any political consultation, without informing trade partners, and without a fundamental discussion whether or not the Ventilation Shutdown method should be made acceptable at all.

From a strategic point of view, the US poultry industry created an unprecedented commercial advantage for itself. Their competitors in Europe are responsible for biosecurity and for prevention of risks of infection, based on EU legislation. Each country has to implement a National Emergency Response plan based on Directive EC 1099/2009.
In Germany, public private partnerships called “Tierseuchenkasse” are responsible for the preparation of emergency response to outbreaks like HPAI, and work on an insurance model. The German government, the EU and the industry collectively carry the costs for emergency response activities.

TTIP

This is not the case in the USA. There, USDA APHIS is responsible for response activities and the taxpayer is paying the costs. This is a significant advantage over European producers, and with the TTIP ‘free trade’ negotiations in their final stage, the European poultry industry will be confronted with a significant distortion of trading conditions by this abandonment of animal welfare as a boundary condition in culling operations in the USA.

US egg producers are actively creating facts that will be very difficult to undo, and with the Ventilation Shutdown Method officially accepted by USDA Aphis, the industry effectively avoids to take its responsibility for risks inherent to the type of production with 31.000.000 caged layers, packed on 35 farms, and caged layer farms with an average size of 913.000 caged layers per farm. The consequences will be devastating: all Asian producers, who routinely use cage systems to produce eggs, will follow the example of the USA, just to be able to compete with the American poultry industry.

For the producers within the EU, it will even more difficult to compete with the US poultry producers. The ventilation shutdown method will on the mid- and long term destroy cage free egg production policy in Europe, putting the EU egg production methods as demanded by the European consumers at risk. In case the European industry would not able to produce against compatible prices, the consumers will become completely dependent on eggs produced outside the EU. As the situation is now, TTIP will not allow for mandatory labeling of animal welfare on eggs, so that EU consumers only will have the price as their decision criterion.

Senator Ron Johnson calls emergency response an economic issue; the Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness & Response Plan puts the limit for Stamping-Out on 24 hours; official guidelines introduce the Ventilation Shutdown method as a legitimate culling method in situations described as “where all other euthanasia options have been exhausted’ – the Ventilation Shutdown method in the USA is a fact with disastrous consequences for animal welfare and a new obstacle to TTIP.

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FLI Seminar on different response strategies: Stamping out or Neutralization

During this spring, American poultry producers lost birds by the millions, due to the High Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks on factory farms. USDA APHIS applied the stamping out strategy in an attempt to prevent the flu from spreading.
With stamping out as the highest priority of the response strategy, large numbers of responders are involved. With in average almost 1 million caged layers per farm in Iowa, there is hardly any room for a proper bio security training for these responders. And existing culling techniques had insufficient capacity, the authorities had to decide to apply drastic techniques like macerating live birds in order to take away the source of virus reproduction.

This strategy didn’t work; on the contrary. Instead of slowing down the spreading of the virus, the outbreaks continue to reoccur and have caused death and destruction in 15 USA states, killing almost 50 million birds on mote than 220infected commercial poultry farms, all within a very small time frame.

The question is whether the priority of the response strategy should be on neutralizing the transmission routes instead of on stamping out infections after they occur. All indicators currently point out into the direction that the industry should prioritize on environmental drivers: the connection between outbreaks and wild ducks; wind-mediated transmission; pre-contact probability; on-farm bio security; transmission via rodents etc.

Once the contribution of each transmission route has been determined, a revolutionary new response strategy can be developed based on the principle of neutralizing transmission routes. Neutralizing risks means that fully new techniques need to be developed, based on culling the animals without human – to – animal contact; integrating detergent application into the culling operations; combining culling & disposal into one activity. This new response strategy will be the main subject of the FLI Animal Welfare and Disease Control Seminar, organized at September 23, 2015 in Celle, Germany.

This international – English-language based – seminar is open for animal welfare specialists, veterinary specialists, and emergency response experts. The event takes place on the premises of FLI; starts at 9 AM; and closes at 4 PM, after the general discussion. In case you need more information or any assistance, please contact me on: 0046 761 731 779 or by mail on harm.kie@gmail.com.
You are very welcome to pass this invitation to all of your colleagues, who may also be interested in the seminar.  

Transmission routes
The routes of virus transmission risks can be split into three categories:

1. Introduction of the infection into the farm
2. Onward-spread between farms
3. Spreading during outbreaks

Introduction into the farm entails the target farm’s exposure through incoming contacts (human and fomite), through inputs such as feed and egg trays and through neighborhood-related risks such as air-borne contamination. Onward spreading and spreading during outbreaks can be through farm outputs (waste and non-waste), outgoing contacts (human and fomite) and contamination of the neighborhood (e.g., through emissions from the farm). Therefore, all day-to-day farm activities involving people and/or materials and/or equipment going in or out of the farm must be systematically analyzed.

Category 1: Introduction of the infection into the farm
During the last HPAI H5N8 epidemic in the Netherlands (2014), a total of 5 traditional poultry became infected by separate introductions, from outside the building to inside and in contact with the birds. The risk of introducing the virus to a farm can be determined from the farm’s neighborhood characteristics, its contact structure and its biosecurity practices .
Neighborhood characteristics include factors such as the presence of water bodies (accessed by wild birds), the density of poultry farms (together with the number and type of birds on these farms) and poultry-related businesses and the road network. The use of manure in the farm’s vicinity is also deemed to be risky.

In nature, disease-causing strains of avian influenza rarely spread far because the birds sicken and die before they can fly to spread it to others. However, in unnatural, intensive agricultural systems, pathogens are more easily able to evolve from mild strains to dangerous, highly pathogenic forms.

Category 2: Onward-spread between farms

In Iowa, cage layer housing conditions (confining in average more than 100,000 animals each) may have an effect on immunity, but there is no such thing as being more or less susceptible to avian influenza virus infection; poultry in outdoor facilities that have more opportunities to engage in natural behavior are not more resistant to AI infection.
Probably the housing conditions themselves (windowless sheds, intensely overcrowded, unsanitary, with stressful living conditions for the birds) make exposure to AI virus easier. In the Netherlands it has been shown that. layer farms with outdoor facilities and therefore more and better contact with wild water birds have a much higher probability of introduction of AI virus than traditional indoor layer farms (which do not have windowless sheds).

Nine out of 10 chickens used for egg production in the U.S. are confined in barren wire cages. Due to the extreme confinement, hens —highly intelligent and social animals — cannot engage in natural behaviors. High levels of stress can lead to weakened immunity, rendering animals much more susceptible to disease. This makes the average caged layer farm in Iowa a plausible hotbed for outbreaks of avian flu.
Still, it is unlikely that the confinement of hens in cages is the only explanation for the current outbreaks in the U.S, especially in Iowa. The industrial indoor housing in remote locations with large distances between farm locations has always been considered as the perfect protection against introduction of viruses to the farm. Considering the current pace of outbreaks over large areas, other factors might have caused the transmission between farms, like:

a) Transmission through contact structure between farms
b) Wind-mediated spread
c) Transmission via rodents and farm dogs


a) Transmission through contact structure between farms

Contacts between people, equipment and vehicles prior and during outbreak situations are critical to determine the possible source of infection of a farm . Hired laborers are known to play a big role in interconnecting farms.
The farm’s exposure through incoming contacts (human and fomite), through inputs such as feed and egg trays and through neighborhood-related risks such as air-borne contamination. The latter can be through farm outputs (waste and non-waste), outgoing contacts (human and fomite) and contamination of the neighborhood (e.g., through water- or airborne emissions from the farm).

b) Wind-mediated spread
In the study, published in 2012 by Rolf Ypma et al, a comparison between the transmission risk pattern predicted by the model and the pattern observed during the 2003 Netherlands epidemic reveals that the wind-borne route alone is insufficient to explain the observations although it could contribute substantially to the spread over short distance ranges, for example, explaining 24% of the transmission over distances up to 25 km.

c) Rodents, scavengers and farm dogs
Besides a study published in 2007 Taiwan, little research has been undertaken into the transmission routes via rodents, scavengers and farm dogs. There are strong indicators for the assumption that rodents, scavengers and farm dogs could play a role in distributing and reintroducing HPAI.

Recently Avian Influenza was found in a farm dog in South Korea. The dog had antigens for the highly pathogenic H5N8.
Since the first case of a dog being infected with the poultry virus in March 2014, there have been 55 dogs found with antibodies to the bird flu virus. This is the first time bird flu has been found in a dog in Korea through the detection of antigens.

Category 3: Spreading during outbreaks
The impact of the outbreak of the Avian Flu Epidemic outbreak in the Netherlands in 2003 shows that biosecurity during outbreaks is one of the main issues to address. An estimated 1.000 people, possibly more have been shown to carry antibodies to the H7N7 virus active at that time.

Although the risk of transmission of these viruses to humans was initially thought to be low, an outbreak investigation was launched to assess the extent of transmission of influenza A virus subtype H7N7 from chickens to humans.

Most H7 cases were detected in the cullers. The attack rate (proportion of persons at risk that developed symptoms) of conjunctivitis was highest in veterinarians, and both cullers and veterinarians had the highest estimated attack rate of confirmed A/H7N7 infections.
From all people that had been questioned, 453 people had health complaints—349 reported conjunctivitis, 90 had influenza-like illness, and 67 had other complaints. We detected A/H7 in conjunctival samples from 78 (26·4%) people with conjunctivitis only, in five (9·4%) with influenza-like illness and conjunctivitis, in two (5·4%) with influenza-like illness only, and in four (6%) who reported other symptoms.
Most positive samples had been collected within 5 days of symptom onset.

A/H7 infection was confirmed in three contacts (of 83 tested), one of whom developed influenza-like illness. In three of these exposed contacts an A/H7N7 infection was confirmed. All three were household contacts. The first contact was the 13-year-old daughter of a poultry worker, who developed conjunctivitis approximately 10 days after onset of symptoms in her father. Six people had influenza A/H3N2 infection.

FLI Seminar
During the FLI Animal Welfare and Disease Control Seminar, organized at September 23, 2015 in Celle, Germany, a group of international experts will give their vision on how the possible contribution of each transmission route could be determined and how a revolutionary new response strategy could be developed, based on the principle of neutralizing transmission routes.

A selection of key experts in their field will be presenting their vision, like:

• Dr. Michael Marahrens, host of the event, presenting the theme of the day: Animal disease control in Germany: past – present – future
• Dr. Marien Gerritzen (Wageningen UR) who will discuss Welfare aspects of methods for emergency killing of poultry during disease outbreaks
• Dr. F. J. Conraths (Institute of Epidemiology, FLI, Greifswald – Insel Riems) who will present the role of wild birds in the transmission of influenza virus infections to poultry
• Dr. Guus Koch (Wageningen UR), explaining the virus sequence network of an avian influenza epidemic reveals virus adaptation and unexpected trans-mission chains
• Dr. Elbers (Wageningen UR), presenting the virus transmission during the out-break in the Netherlands, 2003
• Dr. J. Harlizius (Chamber of Agriculture North Rhine – Westphalia), discussing Lessons learnt from the outbreak of classical swine fever in Germany, 2006
• Dr. A. vom Schloß (North Rhine – Westphalia Animal Diseases Fund), discussing the reorganization of the provisions for animal disease control in Germany
• Dr. I. Schwarzlose (Institute of Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry, FLI, Celle), explaining Animal Welfare during disease outbreaks and control measures in the context of European and German legal framework
• Mr. W. Hung (Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST), explaining the relevance of OIE guidelines during the HPAI outbreak in Taiwan.
• AVT participates in the seminar, discussing how to implement animal welfare in Standard Operating Procedures during culling of animals.
You are more than welcome to participate in this English-spoken event. You can sign up by replying your name, including the name of your institute/company, to angelika.gaupp@fli.bund.de, or by fax: +49/5141-3846-117.

We wanted this seminar to be accessible for all, and for that reason, the participation fee is € 70 only. Unfortunately, the number of participants is limited, so in case you’re interested, please let us know and respond before August 31, 2015. After you signed up, you will receive your detailed payment instructions.

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Animal Welfare & Disease Control Seminar Sept 23, 2015: Introduction of Avian Influenza into the industry

During the FLI Animal Welfare and Disease Control Seminar, organized at September 23, 2015 in Celle, Germany, a group of experts will give their vision on how the possible contribution of each transmission route could be determined and how a revolutionary new response strategy could be developed, based on the principle of neutralizing transmission routes.

There are several factors, which contribute to the unique presentation of an avian influenza outbreak, like the relationship of this virus with wild waterfowl. The virus is highly pathogenic for chickens and turkeys but not pathogenic for waterfowl.
Since the virus in our current outbreak is not pathogenic for waterfowl, the vast flocks of healthy virus-infected migratory geese and ducks travel thousands of miles, entering into commercial poultry-producing regions while shedding tremendous quantities of infectious avian influenza virus in their feces.
You are more than welcome to participate in this English-spoken event. You can sign up by replying your name, including the name of your institute/company, to angelika.gaupp@fli.bund.de, or by fax: +49/5141-3846-117.

We wanted this seminar to be accessible for all, and for that reason, the participation fee is € 70 only. Unfortunately, the number of participants is limited, so in case you’re interested, please let us know and respond before August 31, 2015. After you signed up, you will receive your detailed payment instructions.

This international – English-language based – seminar is open for animal welfare specialists, veterinary specialists, and emergency response experts. The event takes place on the premises of FLI; starts at 9 AM; and closes at 4 PM, after the general discussion.

In case you need more information or any assistance, please contact me on: 0046 761 731 779 or by mail on harm.kie@gmail.com.

You are very welcome to pass this invitation to all of your colleagues, who may also be interested in the seminar.

I am looking forward to see you there.

Kind regards,
Harm Kiezebrink

Associate Research Fellow FLI

Federal Research Institute for Animal Health
Friedrich Loeffler Institute
Dörnbergstr. 25/27 | 29223 Celle
Tel: +49 5141 3846 130 | Fax: +49 5141 3846 117
http://www.fli.bund.de/

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