The Merial Avian Forum, taking place April 23-25 in Paris, has attracted more than 500 participants. The three-day event is playing host to 23 international speakers with delegates coming from more than 68 countries.

Under the slogan “Let’s grow together,” Jerome Baudon, head of global strategic marketing - avian franchise at Merial, opened the proceedings and noted that, by 2020, poultry meat will have overtaken pork as the world’s meat of choice, and added that Merial’s mission was to help producers better and safely feed the world.

Offering an overview of the French poultry market, Dr. Jacques Bonin, country manager France, noted that France remained the largest poultry producer in the EU27, adding that, although the sector had undergone a degree of consolidation, more would be needed if French poultry producers were to be competitive on the international arena.

And like poultry producers in many other countries, the French poultry industry has to confront welfare issues and reduced use of antibiotics.

Topics covered during the first day included microorganisms’ variability, epidemiological consequences, the interaction between microorganisms and the immune system of birds, immune response versus the main avian pathogens, and the evolution of Gumboro vaccinology