What's new ? - 2006

What's new ? - 2006

EU extends import ban on captive birds to end-March

1 December, 2006 European Union veterinary experts extended a ban on all imports of captive live birds from outside the bloc for a further three months to guard against the spread of avian influenza, the European Commission said.
The ban would now remain in force until March 31, 2007.
Earlier this week, the veterinary experts agreed to prolong a similar ban for imports of pet birds until the end of 2007. Read More

Possible health risks linked to Tamiflu

30 November, 2006 Canada: As of November 11, 2006, there have been 84 reports of adverse events occurring in Canadian patients using Tamiflu, including 10 which reported a fatal outcome. A causal relationship has not been confirmed in these cases. There have been seven Canadian reports of psychiatric adverse events, suspected by those reporting the events, due to Tamiflu, most involving elderly patients. There have been no Canadian reports of abnormal behaviour or deaths involving children.
FDA: "There have been postmarketing reports (mostly from Japan) of self-injury and delirium with the use of Tamiflu in patients with influenza. People with the flu, particularly children, may be at an increased risk of self-injury and confusion shortly after taking Tamiflu and should be closely monitored for signs of unusual behavior. A healthcare professional should be contacted immediately if the patient taking Tamiflu shows any signs of unusual behavior". Read More

Salmonella Enteritidis in Broiler Chickens, United States, 2000–2005

30 November, 2006 US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) data on Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis in broiler chicken carcass rinses collected from 2000 through 2005 showed the annual number of isolates increased >4-fold and the proportion of establishments with Salmonella Enteritidis–positive rinses increased nearly 3-fold (test for trend, p<0.0001). The number of states with Salmonella Enteritidis in broiler rinses increased from 14 to 24. Read More

Human Influenza vaccination

29 November, 2006 A group of Italian researchers (Rizzo et al., 2006; Vaccine 24: 6468-6475) evaluated the mortality benefits that may be attributed to the increasing vaccination coverage in the Italian elderly. Their findings were that either the vaccine failed to protect the elderly against mortality (possibly due to immune senescence), and/or the vaccination efforts did not adequately target the frailest elderly. Read More

EU: Import rules for poultry and poultry products

2 November, 2006 The European Commission has completed and adopted an overhaul of EU legislation on the import of poultry and poultry products. Decision 2006/696/EC consolidates into a single piece of legislation the import conditions for poultry, hatching eggs, day-old chicks, meat of poultry, ratites and wild game-birds, eggs and egg products and specified pathogen-free eggs. These were previously laid down in some 13 different Decisions.
The new Decision also includes the list of third countries (and regions within them) authorised to export these products to the EU, as well as any special conditions that apply to consignments from certain geographical regions. Read More

EU lifts South African ostrich meat ban

1 November, 2006 The European Union lifted a ban on South African ostrich meat imposed in July after avian influenza outbreaks. The ban effectively stopped the import of ostrich, emus and their meat and eggs from South Africa, following an outbreak of the H5N2 virus in farms in Mossel Bay and Riversdale in the Western Cape. Read More

EUR 28.3 M for new research into avian and pandemic influenza

30 October, 2006 The European Commission announced EUR 28.3 million of new projects into avian and pandemic influenza. 17 projects were selected after a special call for proposals under the EU's Sixth Research Framework Programme. The new projects cover human and animal health, and address research needs identified by organisations such as the World Health Organisation, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. Read More

New outdoor ban imposed on poultry

30 September, 2006 The Swiss economics ministry has announced "targeted" preventive measures to protect poultry against avian influenza carried by birds heading to Africa.
From October 15, poultry living within one kilometre of major lakes and rivers - where migratory birds infected with the H5N1 virus might stop to rest or drink - will be kept indoors.
Within these regions, free-range poultry will be banned as well as poultry markets and exhibitions.
Unlike the previous outdoor ban, which was imposed across the country from February 20 to May 1 this year, the latest lock-up only applies around lakes and rivers in low-lying parts of the country.
The period of vigilance will not be limited to periods of migration, but throughout the winter. The messures will remain in place until April 30, 2007. Read More

Salmonella vaccination

1 August, 2006 The Commission adopted a Regulation setting out the rules for certain control measures used to reduce Salmonella in poultry. From 1 January 2008, all Member States with Salmonella prevalence above 10% will have to vaccinate their laying hens against Salmonella, in order to reduce the spread of the disease and the contamination of eggs. The vaccinations used must be authorised at EU level, and must be distinguishable from the field bacteria during sampling and testing. National authorities may exempt a holding from this vaccination requirement provided satisfactory preventive measures are being applied or there has been no incidence of Salmonella on the holding over the previous 12 months. Read More

EU citizens eating less poultry, avian influenza survey finds

11 July, 2006 About 48 per cent of those who reduced their consumption, or nine per cent of those surveyed, said they were aware of a potential risk.
As they were unable to measure it, they preferred to adopt a cautious attitude, the survey found.
About 15 per cent of this group, or three per cent of all EU25 citizens, were convinced that the risk of eating poultry meat was real. Read More

UK: Laboratory accident with avian influenza virus

24 June, 2006 Two workers at Britain’savian influenza testing centre needed emergency treatment after being jabbed accidentally by needles infected with the deadly virus.
The women worked in labs at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, Surrey, analysing birds contaminated by the H5N1 virus. Read More

Egg producers call for import ban on salmonella eggs

20 June, 2006 UK egg producers have called on the government to ban the import of eggs unless they have been produced to the same standards for Salmonella.
The call was prompted by the publication of the first survey of EU flocks.
It revealed that nearly 90% of UK units were completely free of salmonella and the small number of positive samples put the UK among the best in Europe. Read More

WHO chief Dr Lee Jong-wook dies

22 May, 2006 WHO chief Dr Lee Jong-wook dies, Director-General of the World Health Organization, has died. He had been in hospital since Saturday afternoon, where he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain (a subdural hematoma). Dr Lee, from South Korea, had worked at the WHO for 23 years and became its head in 2003. Read More

Romania: fires vet officials as avian influenza spreads

19 May, 2006 Romania has fired two top veterinary officials and arrested a private veterinarian amid spreading outbreaks of avian influenza in the past 2 days.
Romanian authorities had arrested a veterinarian named Virgil Udrea for allegedly allowing poultry infected with avian influenza to be sold to farmers. He worked at an industrial farm called Drakom Silva in Codlea in central Romania. Government officials say the current outbreaks began at Drakom Silva. Read More

The challenge of avian influenza to the veterinary community

7 May, 2006 Review article by Ilaria Capua and Dennis J. Alexander (Avian Pathology - published online).
The present paper aims to identify areas of knowledge of veterinary competence that need to be improved in order to generate information to support the global AI crisis, and highlights the major changes in AI legislation, including regulations related to trade. It also reviews the human health implications of AI, including the mechanisms by which a human pandemic virus may be generated, and the food safety issues related to this infection. Read More

Gilead Sciences profit up 67 percent

19 April, 2006 Biotech company Gilead Sciences Inc. said Tuesday (18/04) its first-quarter profit rose 67 percent and beat Wall Street estimates due to more sales of HIV drugs and Tamiflu royalties from Roche Holdings Ltd.
Net income grew to $262.7 million, or 55 cents per share, from $157.1 million, or 34 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 61 percent to $692.9 million from $430.4 million last year. Read More

Belgium, Netherlands meat sectors face dioxin crisis

1 February, 2006 Belgium and the Netherlands face another dioxin crisis, after the cancer-causing chemical was detected in pig and poultry feed used by hundreds of farms.
The dioxin contamination has put a question mark over Belgium's meat industry which suffered a similar blow in 1999. Then, the industry lost millions of euros either through a quarantine of some 200 Belgian farms, or through the loss of their export markets after some countries imposed bans.
The country ended up slaughtering seven million chickens and 60,000 pigs. The scare, which occurred just before the 1999 general election, played a key part in the landslide defeat of the former government of Jean-Luc Dehaene. Read More