3 avian flu questions all poultry producers are asking
WATT Global Media hosted an expert panel to discuss the present and future challenges highly pathogenic avian influenza brings to the poultry industry.
Avian influenza has spread all over the world again in early 2017, suggesting that it will challenge poultry production on every continent for years to come.
In a webinar hosted by WATT Global Media, Dr. Leslie David Sims, a consultant with the Asia Pacific Veterinary Information Service in Australia, said the current wave of infections – affecting North America, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East and Africa – is “a very severe outbreak” and one of the worst waves of avian influenza ever experienced. Sims spoke as part of an expert panel at the May 11 webinar focusing on the challenges presented by avian influenza sponsored by Neogen.
Sims was joined by Dr. David Swayne, laboratory director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, and Dr. Aldo Rossi, managing director of world quality assurances and veterinary services for Cobb-Vantress Inc. Here are three questions the panel tackled during the hour-long discussion.
1. Is avian influenza a greater threat to the global poultry industry than it was a decade ago?
Sims said the disease’s current intercontinental movement is very similar to the first international wave of avian influenza in 2005 and 2006, but the severity of the disease is greater than a decade ago.
The largest factor that could make avian influenza more severe is the steadily growing global poultry population. Population and income growth around the world is demanding larger flocks and bigger operations, but Sims said the level of biosecurity isn’t increasing at the same…