This week, the French animal health company, Ceva, held its Poultry Vaccinology Summit in Barcelona, Spain. The central issue for the 400 attendees was vaccination and its relationship with antibiotic-free (ABF) poultry production. I think the approach that they had was very good.

What is the idea behind ​​vaccinating? To reduce or prevent disease. That has been one of the foundations of modern medicine. In poultry production, it has meant a step forward, as we strengthen the way that birds and animals in general defend themselves. On the other hand, the use of antibiotics is another one of the foundations of modern medicine.

Now, with ABF chicken production, vaccination is an interesting approach. The consumer groups’ pressure has jeopardized many producers. Regardless of whether it may be technically feasible, one must assess whether it is economically feasible.

Therefore, I think that vaccination is a good solution. During this meeting, Dr. Yannick Gardin, scientific director for poultry vaccines at Ceva Santé Animale, mentioned the need to face dogmas and change them, particularly in the use of vaccines against avian influenza, but without leaving aside biosecurity. It is imperative that the poultry industry adjusts to changing times, but there also must be openness and flexibility from international organizations.

If the poultry industry will be more flexible, international trade must do so, too. Perhaps we should work more on compartmentalization and, maybe, certifications of certain plants or industries that export, allowing exports despite the presence of disease.

Vaccination also offers solutions with new recombinant technologies and in ovo vaccination. The latter used in our continent mainly in the U.S. and Brazil, and very little in the other countries. It would be worth reviewing this proposal.

What do you think?