Dossier Hyderabad: 250.000 chickens killed by twisting the neck

Hyderabad, April 22, 2015: Veterinary officials ordered 250,000 birds to be slaughtered in India’s Telangana district, after cases of the H5N1 virus were identified. Veterinary staff from the local government’s animal husbandry department carried out the cull – which included destroying hundreds of thousands of infected eggs – at Thorrur village in the Ranga Reddy district.

The chickens and other poultry have been culled by twisting the neck, following the outbreak of a highly contagious strain of bird flu in India. The virus which can be deadly in humans, caused the deaths of nearly 400 people and hundreds of millions of poultry after it spread from Asia into Europe and Africa. Killing birds by twisting the neck is extremely labor intensive and demands hundreds of responders.

The risk that responders get infected and become carrier of the disease is high and this method should be banned as method of mass culling. As a cheap alternative, the authorities could have ordered the use of solid CO2 (dry ice) instead. The use of dry ice in plastic bags is 100% effective and reduces direct contact between animals and humans.

The lack of proper preparation by the local veterinary authorities caused that they didn’t have any alternative method available, what then forced them to apply hundreds of people to kill the infected birds by hand. It is to be expected that HP H5N1 will continue to reoccur in India via the route of this type of emergency response, unless the authorities step up their control measures and start using culling methods that exclude contact between infected animals and responders.

The carcasses and the eggs, including those stored in warehouses, were dumped in a pit.Bird feed stock was burned and the sites were all thoroughly disinfected in a bid to stop the virus from spreading. India has culled 6.4 million birds due to bird flu since 2006.

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Dossier Taiwan: Poultry cull called inhumane

Taipei Times, Sat, Jan 31, 2015 By Sean Lin, Staff reporter. With the number of birds culled in response to the avian influenza outbreaks exceeding 1.7 million, the Environment and Animal Society Taiwan (EAST) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) yesterday slammed what they said were inhumane practices adopted by local governments. The Council of Agriculture also came under fire from the society, who said the council had not updated its culling procedure in compliance with international standards and had been negligent in its duty to monitor the exterminations.

At a news conference in Taipei, EAST played video footage shot during culls last weekend at six poultry farms in Yunlin County — the area most severely hit by the outbreak — and demanded that the council assume responsibility for what it called the cruel treatment of the birds, which included dead and living geese bagged together in blood-stained hessian bags and then snatched up by a crane with a metal claw. Living birds could be seen struggling inside the bags, some of which the group said had been left for more than 12 hours as culling personnel waited for the fowl to suffocate. Geese were shown grabbed by the neck — appearing to be in considerable pain — before being put into the bags.

Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Deputy Director-General Shih Tai-hua (施泰華) had said that carbon dioxide was used to sedate animals before culling, but EAST chief executive Wu Hung (朱增宏) disputed that, saying that his group’s findings showed that culling undertaken at most farms was carried out without the gas, in violation of extermination guidelines stipulated by the World Organization for Animal Health, of which Taiwan is a member. Wu also rejected Shih’s assertion that soldiers had been deployed to disinfect vehicles along roads used by culling personnel to transport dead birds to incinerators or rendering plants — a disease control measure the bureau pledged to implement last week. Meanwhile, the group’s investigation into extermination efforts by nine local governments highlighted the lack of a standard operating procedure in the extermination methods adopted by local governments.

Yunlin County said that its personnel froze geese with dry ice and Changhua County said exterminators suffocated waterfowl showing weak vital signs with hessian sacks. Pingtung and Chiayi counties, as well as Greater Tainan, used chloral hydrate to cull birds — a practice that has been banned by the US Department of Agriculture because the compound is a weak sedative. None of the local governments that used carbon dioxide were able to provide information on the concentration or quantities used, the probe showed.

Citing World Organization for Animal Health extermination guidelines, Wu said that carbon dioxide — at 40 percent to 70 percent concentration — should be introduced gradually directly into poultry houses to sedate or kill the birds in a manner that causes minimum distress. Alternatively, fowl can be placed into plastic or metal containers into which carbon dioxide is introduced to ensure that fowl are properly anesthetized prior to extermination, Wu said, adding that placing birds into hessian sacks did not meet this requirement.

Lin questioned the council’s inactivity over improving culling methods despite the millions of New Taiwan dollars in grants it has distrubuted to academics to conduct research into the field, the results of which include an article describing an automated carbon dioxide administering bagging machine, written by National Chiayi University professor Huang Ching-hsiang (黃慶祥), and an article published in 2008 on an alkaline foam-spraying system for chicken euthanization by National Chung Hsing University professor Yang Chi (楊繼). However, Shih said chloral hydrate was used to sedate the birds and the practice should therefore be considered humane. He said that the bureau would address its administrative negligence and improve its extermination measures.

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Dossier broiler production: How the use of data drives the poultry business

This video demonstrates how a modern broiler farmer operates. It gives a good inside how the entire process of growing broilers is based on data and standardizing processes, taking a loss of 3% of the production as a fact. Quite interesting!

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dossier eendagskuikens: Hoeveel tijd heeft de pluimvee sector?

In Nederland worden jaarlijks 45 miljoen eendagshaantjes van legrassen gedood. Tijdens het symposium ‘Alternatieven voor het doden van eendagshaantjes’ zijn mogelijke alternatieven getoond en bediscussieerd.

Het symposium werd georganiseerd door Wageningen UR, en vond plaats op 8 september, met 40 deelnemers uit de pluimveesector (fokkerij, broederij, brancheorganisatie), het ministerie van Economische Zaken, de NVWA en het onderzoek.

Vooralsnog bestaat er weinig maatschappelijke ophef over de massale doding van de haantjes, maar daar zou de komende jaren verandering in kunnen komen.

De discussie over dit onderwerp heeft inmiddels in Duitsland geleid tot het verbod op het levend vermalen van eendagskuikens en bedrijven als Nestle en Unilever hebben in hun CSR strategie opgenomen dat zij voor het volledig uitbannen van het doden van eendagshaantjes zijn.

Het is dus nog maar de vraag of de markt bereid is de sector de tijd te gunnen om met een praktijkrijp alternatief te komen. Daarom doen de  sector en de overheid er goed aan na te gaan hoe ze de ontwikkeling van een alternatief kunnen versnellen, want zoals het er nu naar uit ziet kan het nog wel vijf tot tien jaar duren voordat een praktijkrijp alternatief beschikbaar is.

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Wet Houders van Dieren: Implementatie van Verordening EU 1099/2009 binnen Nederland

Er worden binnen de Europese primaire pluimvee bedrijven jaarlijks 97 miljoen wrakke of zieke dieren handmatig gedood omdat ze hun economische waarde hebben verloren en/of uit hun lijden moeten worden verlost. Voor Nederland betekent dit ca. 5,54 miljoen vleeskuikens en een kleine 620.000 leghennen

Die uitval is een ongewenst bijverschijnsel en wordt binnen de sector als een intern probleem beschouwd. Het publiek is zich nauwelijks bewust dat het om zulke grote aantallen dieren gaat die geen keuze hebben tussen onnodig leiden en een langzame dood. Bij zulke aantallen is dierenwelzijn is in het geding en de betroffen dieren verdienen meer dan gebagitaliseerd te worden, alsof het om een te verwaarlozen probleem zou gaan.

De Europese Verordening EU 1099/2009 die per 1 januari 2013 binnen alle Europese lidstaten van kracht is geworden. werd in Nederland opgenomen in de wet Houders van Dieren die per 22 augustus 2014 van kracht is geworden.

Deze nieuwe dierenwelzijnswet biedt unieke kansen voor gespecialiseerde pluimvee dierenartsen om een sleutelrol te vervullen in de transformatie van de pluimvee sector.

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USDA APHIS Veterinary Service: One Health Call to Action

Interest in the One Health approach is surfacing in both the public and private sector within the USA. Members of the US Congress have demonstrated their support of One Health principles by introducing legislation to promote, implement, and sustain veterinary services, and veterinary public health; to promote training in food systems security; to develop strategies to address antimicrobial resistance; and to develop other veterinary health initiatives.

The private sector understands that harnessing the combined expertise of medical and veterinary science can transform the ability to control and eradicate a range of pathogens that pose major threats to both human and animal health, and that undermine the viability of livestock agriculture and food production. As part of its vision for 2015, APHIS Veterinary Service is committed to embrace One Health strategy as part of the solution to address the changes and challenges of the APHIS Veterinary Service landscape.

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One World – One Health presentation Katinka de Balogh

During the FVE conference in Brussels on April 7, 2014, Katinka de Balogh, leader of the global Veterinary Public Health activities of the FAO, presented the One-Health approach to highlight the importance of prevention, ensuring health and welfare of people and animals in a globalized environment:

• The benefit coming from the implementation of good health management in practice, both in terms of health and welfare, as well as, of financial sustainability
• The importance of coordinating actions in both sectors via a One-Health approach, with a particular focus on zoonotic diseases
• The role of the medical and veterinary profession in assuring these matters and educating the society

Katinka de Balogh is of Dutch and Hungarian origins and grew up in Latin-America. She studied veterinary medicine in Berlin and Munich and graduated and obtained her doctorate in tropical parasitology from the Tropical Institute of the University of Munich in 1984. In the late 80’s she had spent two years as a young professional at the Veterinary Public Health Unit of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. In 2002 she started working at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.

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AVT session 1: The Principles of Outbreak Response

This is the first of a series of 6 presentations on the subject of Emergency Response to an outbreak of Avian Influenza.

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AVT session 2: Depopulation Strategies

This second presentation of a series of 6 AVT presentation on Emergency Response to outbreaks of Avian Influenza focuses on depopulation strategies, rapid response management, culling, storage, transportation, composting and disposal of carcasses.

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AVT session 4: Cleaning, Disinfection & Biosecurity

This fourth presentation of a series of 6 AVT presentations on Cleaning, Disinfection & Biosecurity risks related to outbreaks of Avian Influenza.

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