A delegation of government agricultural officials from India paid a visit to Aviagen facilities in Elkmont, Ala., on Nov. 16 to take an in-depth look at a leading US poultry breeding operation.

The visit was part of a five-day tour organized by the USDA and the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC). In addition to Aviagen, the delegation also visited the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL), the Georgia Poultry Laboratory, Koch Foods and a turkey processing facility.

The USDA and USAPEEC intended the overall tour to promote international poultry trade by sharing knowledge about the U.S. poultry industry structure, biosecurity procedures and regulatory supervision.

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Delegation experienced Aviagen facilities, practices and worldclass biosecurity

The visit to the Aviagen Elkmont production site was arranged by Dr. Kate Hayes, production program veterinarian for Aviagen North America, and Dr. Eric Jensen, vice president of Veterinary Services for Aviagen North America. Because Elkmont features an abundance of facilities within a relatively small area, the delegation was able to experience Aviagen practices at their veterinary laboratory, GP hatchery, great grandparent (GGP) production center and GGP farm.

The delegation had the chance to witness first-hand Aviagen’s exceptional biosecurity program, which has helped the poultry genetics leader to become the first poultry breeding company in the U.S. to be certified as an Avian Influenza Clean Compartment in October of this year. In April 2011 Aviagen U.K. became the first primary breeding company in the world to gain compartment status. Aviagen India was also awarded the status for its Elayamuthur facility.

Agricultural dignitaries from US and India join tour

Joining the tour were state veterinarians from Alabama and Tennessee, along with dignitaries from India’s Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Representatives from the USDA and USAPEEC were also present.