What's New ? - 2022

What's New ? - 2022

Italy to ban male chick culling by the end of 2026

15 August, 2022 On the 16th of December 2021, Italy's Chamber of Deputies approved a law to ban male chick culling in Italy by the end of 2026.
Eurogroup for Animal's member Animal Equality Italy launched in 2020 a campaign signed by over 100 thousand people to ask the government and industry to put an end to this terrible situation. Thanks to this work, the trade association of egg producers Assoavi already declared itself in favour of the introduction of in-ovo sexing technologies capable of avoiding the culling of male chicks in 2020. Read More

Irish audit of official controls carried out on the egg sector

24 July, 2022 The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) completed an audit of the official controls performed by the Poultry and Egg Section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Feedingstuff, Fertiliser, Grain and Poultry Division (FFGPD) at various stages of the table egg production chain (egg collection, transporting, packing, warehousing, and distribution and retail sale). This audit was part of the planned programme of audits of official controls, undertaken by the FSAI. The audit found there is an organized system of official controls to verify requirements of food law and marketing standards for businesses involved in the table egg industry. Read More

Laying hens by farming method in the EU

23 July, 2022 The European Commission publishes annual statistics on the number of laying hens and the farming systems used in the now 27 member states of the EU.
The total laying hen population in the EU has increased slightly compared to 2020.
In 2021, there were 376 million laying hens in the EU (372.4 million in 2020), or an increase of 1%. Table 1 shows the 6 largest egg-producing countries in the EU (including Belgium) and their farming systems.Germany remains the largest egg producer (58.1 million birds) in the EU, followed by Poland, France, Spain and Italy, who all have between 40 and 51 million laying hens. Read More

The economic consequences of thinning in broiler production

Animals 2022, 12, 1521. 27 June, 2022 Partial depopulation in broiler production consists of the removal and early slaughter of a portion of the flock prior to the final slaughter age. Partial depopulation is used at different ages and different percentages in various countries. In a study, by Belgian researchers, the production of a house performing partial depopulation of 25% of the flock at 35 days of age prior to the final slaughter at 42 days was compared with a production system where partial depopulation was not performed. The differences in production costs, profit, and technical performance parameters were evaluated. The model indicated that stopping partial depopulation reduces the production between 16 to 24%, which results in a 14% reduced profit per kg of live weight, and a 31% reduced profit per production cycle. Read More

Hen cages to be banned in Israel beginning in 2037

22 June, 2022 The Education, Culture and Sports Committee, unanimously approved the Animal Welfare Regulations (Protection of Animals) (Raising and Keeping Egg Laying Chickens for Agricultural Purposes), 2022. The new regulations ban cages in any new chicken shed, with immediate effect.
As of 2037, the keeping of poultry in cage type coops (not just the new ones) will be banned. The transition period is intended to allow the industry to prepare and upgrade in accordance with the necessary changes, since in Israel, at present, about 93% of the egg laying hens coops are cages of various types. During the transition period, a minimum living space has been set for the egg laying hens in existing coops, which will range from 600 sq. cm. to 750 sq. cm., depending on the size of the coop. Read More

USDA settles HSUS lawsuit for $64,000

21 June, 2022 The Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary and Mercy For Animals just settled a lawsuit against USDA for $64,000 in a case blaming USDA for not encouraging facilities restocking after the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in 2015 to shift to cage-free systems or facilities with additional space.
In 2015, HSUS proposed to USDA that the agency should require producers re-stocking their facilities after an outbreak to shift to cage-free or other systems that give birds more space and the ability to engage in healthy, natural behaviors.
HSUS says though the USDA agreed that “overcrowding animals can amplify influenza, instead of doing anything to discourage it, the agency said that it planned to just ‘encourage farmers to consider reducing the number of birds in poultry houses as part their best management practices.’ Read More

UK join forces to battle avian influenza outbreaks

21 June, 2022 Some of the UK’s top scientists are to set to join forces in a major new research consortium in the UK’s battle against avian influenza.
The eight-strong consortium, headed by the world-leading research team at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), has received £1.5 million from the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and has been tasked with developing new strategies to tackle future avian influenza outbreaks.
This year’s HPAI outbreak has been the largest and longest ever experienced in the UK and in many parts of Europe. The outbreak started earlier than previous years after the virus continued to circulate in Europe over summer 2021 and led to over 100 cases in the UK. Read More

Foster Farms purchased by private equity firm

9 June, 2022 Atlas Holdings announced that it has acquired Foster Farms, a family-owned provider of fresh, frozen, and prepared poultry products headquartered in Livingston, California from entities associated with the Foster Family. Despite higher expenses tied to rising grain prices, poultry companies have reported strong sales growth as consumers continue to load up on the protein even as it has become more expensive at retail. The favorable market conditions have been a major contributor to mergers & acquisitations in this sector. The company employs approximately 10,000 skilled team members and operates major processing facilities in California, Washington, Louisiana, Oregon, and Alabama. The company, which generates revenues of approximately $3 billion annually, will continue to operate under the Foster Farms name. Read More

Egg Prices Jump 50%

4 April, 2022 A rapidly escalating avian influenza outbreak in the U.S. is contributing to a surge in egg prices.
Cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza so far have led to the deaths of more than 22 million birds of which more than 17 million commercial laying hens (~5% of the total U.S. flocks).
Shell egg prices have climbed to $2.88 a dozen, up about 52% since Feb. 8, (first HPAI confirmed case). Read More

Paine Schwartz complete investment in Hendrix-Genetics

3 April, 2022 Paine Schwartz Partners, a global leader in sustainable food chain investing, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with respect to a new strategic investment by Paine Schwartz Food Chain Fund V in Hendrix Genetics, a leading multi-species animal genetics and technology company.
Paine Schwartz and its affiliated co-investors will hold 50% ownership in the Company. Hendrix Genetics’ Co-Founders, Thijs Hendrix and Antoon van den Berg, will also maintain a 50% ownership position in the Company and work in partnership with Paine Schwartz to drive the business forward. Read More

Canada: $3.5 M government investment to support domestic poultry market

1 April, 2022 Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Francis Drouin, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie Claude Bibeau, announced $3.5 million in funding under the Market Development Program for the Turkey Farmers of Canada and Chicken Farmers of Canada. Funding through this program will help increase domestic demand and consumption of Canadian turkey and chicken products through industry-led promotional activities that differentiate Canadian products and producers, and leverage Canada's reputation for high quality poultry products.
Turkey Farmers of Canada will receive up to $2.5 million to expand Canadian consumer awareness of the benefits of turkey meat as a primary and alternative protein.
Chicken Farmers of Canada will receive up to $1 million to promote to Canadians the excellence of Canadian chicken and the commitment of the farmers who raise them to providing safe, high quality chicken. Read More

EFSA: foodborne bacteria show high antimicrobial resistance in 2019–2020

30 March, 2022 Data on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria referring to 2019–2020, submitted by 27 EU Member States (MSs), were jointly analysed by the EFSA and the ECDC. Resistance in zoonotic Salmonella and Campylobacter from humans, animals and food, as well as resistance in indicator Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from animals and food were addressed.
In Salmonella spp. from human cases in 2019–2020, resistance to ampicillin, sulfonamides and tetracyclines was observed at overall high levels, while resistance to third-generation cephalosporins in 2020 was noted at overall very low levels of 0.8% for both cefotaxime and ceftazidime, respectively. Resistance to fluoroquinolones was high to very high among Salmonella spp. and indicator E. coli isolates recovered from broilers, fattening turkeys and poultry carcases/meat in 2020. Read More

Zoetis: 30 years of commercial in-ovo vaccination

24 March, 2022 Zoetis is marking 30 years of commercial In-Ovo vaccination using its Inovoject system, a major advance for poultry health.
In 1992, the Inovoject device launched by Embrex was a major advance in poultry health, ending the devastating impact of Marek’s Disease on poultry flocks in the United States. Since then, the groundbreaking technology has continued to develop and expand to cover other common poultry diseases complementing the continuum of care for poultry in preventing diseases thanks to automated vaccination. Read More

Finland: 300 mln euros emergency aid to support agriculture

19 March, 2022 Finland’s government ministerial working group on preparedness has drawn up a support package of 300 million euros for the agricultural sector to prevent any disruptions in food supply caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The way in which the support is channeled is still open. Read More

Activists across Asia against McDonald's policy on using eggs from Cages

12 March, 2022 Act for Farmed Animals (AFFA), a coalition consisting of Animal Friends Jogja and Sinergia Animal held a rally in front of McDonald's outlets in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali to urge the giant fast food company, McDonald's, to stop supplying eggs which comes from battery cages of every one of their restaurants in Asia.
The coordinated march was also carried out in more than 10 cities in Asia, namely Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Taipei, and Seoul. Read More

UK: AMR survey of UK retail turkey meat

1 March, 2022 The Food Standards Agency has published the findings of a UK-wide survey of AMR in E. coli and Campylobacter bacteria from lamb and turkey meat on UK retail sale, as national efforts continue to tackle AMR as a strategic priority.
The report presents results of the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in specific bacteria, i.e., Campylobacter and Escherichia coli (E. coli) from lamb and turkey meats on retail sale in the UK between October 2020 and February 2021.
Three pre-enriched turkey samples (1.43%), two from the UK and one from Germany yielded E. coi isolates with the mcr-1 transferable colistin resistance gene being detected using molecular genetic techniques. This is the first time that mcr plasmid-mediated colistin resistant E. coli have been isolated from retail turkey meat in the UK. Read More

France bans import of meat from animals on growth antibiotics

Source: Reuters 22 February, 2022 France adopted a decree banning imports of meat from animals treated with growth antibiotics - a practice prohibited in farming within the European Union since 2006 - in a move that would mainly affect the poultry market.
The French ban will be effective on April 22, giving professionals two months to obtain an assurance from their suppliers that meat does not come from flocks using growth antibiotics and to modify their supply chain if needed. Read More

European Parliament rejects calls to ban foie gras production

21 February, 2022 A majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted against two amendments calling for the ban of assisted feeding for foie gras production. The adopted text states that “The fattening phase, which lasts between 10 and 12 days on average with two meals per day, respects the animal’s biological parameters”. Read More

VISION 365

15 February, 2022 The International Egg Commission (IEC) is launching Vision 365, a new decade-long plan to develop the global reputation of the egg. The aim of this initiative is to accelerate global egg consumption to 365 eggs per person, per year. Vision 365 is a 10-year plan to accelerate global average egg consumption to 365 eggs per person, per year. Supporters of the campaign aim to tell the egg industry’s story and build the reputation of the egg based on scientific fact, positioning eggs as an essential food for health.
The initiative will facilitate a vibrant and growing movement, featuring proactive global communications to promote the nutritional value of the egg and increased outreach to key inter-governmental organisations to inspire progress. Read More

Ventilation shutdown for mass depopulation

11 February, 2022 Ventilation shutdown (VSD) with either or both heat and carbon dioxide (VSD+) will be permissible in the event of necessary depopulation following exposure to HPAI. The USDA-APHIS will allow VSD+ under specific circumstances for confined poultry including aviary and cage-housed hens. USDA will grant application of VSD for mass depopulation provided:
-Alternative methods are unavailable within an acceptable period.
-Recognition that multiplication of virus will represent a danger to farms within a three mile zone
-Approval by state officials, incident management and the National Incident Coordinator Read More

Italy: Culling operations on a farm

Source: Essere Animali (with permission) 5 February, 2022 Since October last year , more than 301 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (subtypes H5 and H5N1) in domestic poultry and several other cases in wild animals have been recorded in Italy. So far it is estimated that the animals killed in Italy exceed 15 million and the most affected region is by far the Veneto , where there are the largest number of poultry farms and animals.
An investigation by Essere Animali revealed the cruelty chickens are killed in cases of avian influenza outbreaks. Read More

Ending routine farm antibiotic use in Europe

29 January, 2022 On 28 January 2022, ambitious rules restricting the use of veterinary antimicrobials will start applying across the European Union (EU). These new rules ban the routine use of antibiotics and restrict preventative use to exceptional treatments of individual animals. Also, antimicrobials can no longer be applied to compensate for poor hygiene and animal husbandry practices.
A report written for the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) raises concern about the probability of widespread non-compliance with the legislation.
This is because, it argues, there is so far little indication that Europe is moving away from highly intensive livestock farming systems. Such systems are often associated with factors that drive the routine and excessive use of antibiotics, such as inadequate animal husbandry and high levels of disease. Read More

Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe 2020 data

27 January, 2022 The first Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe report published jointly by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe on 26 January 2022, provides a pan-European overview of the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) situation in the European region, featuring data from 2020.
Results presented in the report show clearly that AMR is widespread in the WHO European Region. Among the topline findings from the joint report, which covers eight bacterial pathogens, are high levels of resistance to third-generation cephalosporins and carbapenems among Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, with 30% of countries reporting carbapenem resistance at rates of 25% or higher. Read More

EU Poultry outlook

Source: EU Agricultural Outlook 2021-2031 25 January, 2022 Increase in EU poultry production and consumption to slow down
The increase in EU poultry consumption could slow down, from the 2% rise per year in 2011-2021 to a 0.5% rise in2021-2031. In other words, the apparent consumption per capita could increase from 23.5 kg in 2021 to 24.8 kg in 2031. That should be driven by continued changes in consumer preferences, stemming from a healthier image of poultry compared to other meats (especially pigmeat), the greater convenience to prepare it and the absence of religious constraints regarding its consumption. Adapting swiftly to the changes in demand, EU poultry produ ction is expected to continue increasing during the outlook period by 0.4% per year, albeit slowing down compared to the past decade (2.6%). Read More

Dr. Egon Vielitz passed away at 89

2 January, 2022 Dr. Egon Vielitz was born on October 1st, 1932 on a farm in Seebeck, a small village in the Brandenburg province, Germany, to a farmer family.
Upon high school completion (1951), young Egon has commenced a 3-year internship program, a then prerequisite for higher agricultural studies. On February 28th 1953, the Vielitz family fled across the lines to West Berlin, (then) West Germany, where Egon began his studies of Veterinary Medicine at the Free University of Berlin. In the summer of 1955, Egon moved to the Tierärztliche Hochschule (the University of Veterinary Medicine) in Hannover, where he graduated (1959) with a thesis in pharmacology.
Shortly after, Dr. Vielitz embarked his lifelong career in poultry, by joining Lohmann GmbH (Cuxhaven, Germany), where he was appointed director of the Veterinary Laboratory (1962). During his long career with Lohmann, Dr Vielitz was involved in the development of a myriad of novel poultry vaccines (e.g., Salmonella live vaccines, with Prof. Linde Read More