USPOULTRY seminar covers preparedness for Avian Influenza
Producing sustainable poultry was another topic at the Live Production and Welfare meeting
“Sustainability is a continually evolving concept and driving force for change in many organizations,” remarked Dr. Ken Opengart, global head of animal health and welfare for Keystone Foods, during his presentation on “Producing Sustainable Poultry in Live Production,” at USPOULTRY’s 2016 Live Production and Welfare Seminar in Nashville, Tenn.
Opengart discussed how sustainability programs benefit businesses and our industry. He reviewed key sustainability principles and Keystone’s Four Pillars, which include Sustaining the Planet, Contributing to Communities, Supporting Our People and Creating Shared Value. Opengart also examined poultry industry trends and factors contributing to improved broiler performance related to live production and concluded with six important points for messaging sustainability.
In his presentation on “Avian Influenza: Surveillance and Monitoring,” Dr. Melburn Stephens, District 2 emergency coordinator for USDA APHIS, discussed the epidemiological findings, costs and impacts of the 2015 avian influenza (AI) outbreak and what a producer can expect going forward. He observed that the economic loss of the AI outbreak in 2015 was $3.3 billion, with 16 trade markets lost including China, Russia and South Korea. Stephens emphasized the following HPAI planning practices going forward: preventing or reducing future outbreaks, enhanced preparedness, improved and streamlined response capabilities, and preparing for the potential use of AI vaccines.
Kent Peter, live production manager for Farbest Foods, provided an overview of preparing and executing an AI preparedness program. His presentation highlighted a day-to-day plan and what to expect and how to best control a disease event.
Kay Johnson Smith, president/CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, highlighted the latest tactics of animal rights activists and how these tactics have affected the poultry industry. Johnson Smith provided tips on creating a positive spotlight about the industry, including sharing personal stories with consumers and being proactive on social media to raise awareness of the industry.