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Avian Influenza / Poultry Health & Disease / Biosecurity
In the future, there will be new vaccination programs and new concepts such as a universal poultry vaccine, with multiple viruses or antigens. | Courtesy Merial
on February 27, 2017

The future of poultry health: New and old challenges

Experts predict the major poultry health challenges over the next few decades will be caused by endemic avian influenza and Newcastle viruses, cage-free egg production, and antibiotic-free growing programs.

In the future, endemic viruses such as avian influenza and Newcastle, and the impact of new trends in poultry and egg production will be the focal points of avian health.

Read the entire report about the future of poultry health exclusively in the March issue of Poultry International.

Respiratory and enteric diseases will continue to shape the poultry industry; avian flu has evolved to become the No. 1 concern among the catastrophic infectious diseases in poultry. 

While the poultry industry has grown in Asia and Africa, those regions do not address disease like the U.S. and Europe do. By not eradicating the avian flu virus, it continues to spread and mutates, so it becomes a problem around the world. 

Another concern is Newcastle disease (ND). There are ways to control ND, including vaccines, biosecurity measures, and mobilization controls of products and byproducts.

There is increasing consumer pressure to produce chicken and eggs raised without antibiotics (also referred to as antibiotic-free or ABF) in mature markets. In fact, many restaurant, hotel and supermarket chains have stated that they will only buy chicken and turkey from farms that have never been treated with antibiotics. 

Ionophores, a major group of coccidiostats used to control coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis, are antibiotics. This creates a major challenge in ABF production.

The other major problem in ABF production is respiratory diseases that turn more complicated with colibacillosis. It is expected that more airsacculitis problems will arise.

The conversion to cage-free egg production has brought back some disease issues not seen in decades. Access to the outdoors can cause other health issues.

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This is the third article in WATT Global Media’s 100-year anniversary series, which considers the future of poultry health. The next article in the series will explore four possible future scenarios for gut health additives.

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