What's New ? - 2023

What's New ? - 2023

Dr. Rachel Bock passed away

22 December, 2023 Ruzena Rachel Bock was born in Czechoslovakia. She studied veterinary medicine at the University of Kosice from 1955 to 1962, and worked as a poultry veterinarian in Bratislava for six years. Following the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army in 1968, she went to Jerusalem to participate in the European WPSA conference, and remained in Israel.
She was employed in 1969 at the Kimron Veterinary Institute, Beit Dagan, in the Poultry Diseases Department. She was appointed in 1979 as director of the regional Poultry Disease Laboratory, Beer Tuvia, where she worked until she retired in 1998. Rachel Bock has devoted her career to the investigation of all aspects of poultry diseases, as well as dealing practically with outbreaks of diseases on Israeli farms. She has done pioneering work on Ornithobacterium rhinotrachaele, and prepared an autogenous ORT vaccine for use in turkeys. Read More

Rabobank: outlook for the Poultry industry for 2024

21 December, 2023 Anticipating declines in pork and beef markets, poultry is poised to emerge as the fastest-growing protein in a global animal protein market forecasted to grow by just 0.4% year-on-year. A global growth rate of 1.5% to 2% is anticipated, with the majority of growth expected in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, albeit at below-average levels. Lower input costs, resulting in more affordable chicken, are expected to stimulate chicken consumption in 2024 and drive industry growth. Consumer price sensitivity due to the weak economic climate will persist, necessitating continued pressure to provide affordable products through price-driven channels. Poultry is likely to continue benefiting from downtrading in terms of meat type and product category. However, as wages rise in alignment with earlier inflation, opportunities for value-based markets will gradually reemerge as consumer price inflation decreases. Nonetheless, price-driven markets will pose a persistent challenge f Read More

Record-breaking 2023: Over 10,000 research papers retracted

17 December, 2023 An article published in the journal Nature highlights a record number of scientific article retractions in 2023. The number of retractions for research articles in 2023 has exceeded 10,000, setting a new annual record. A Nature analysis has identified Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Russia, and China as the countries with the highest retraction rates over the past two decades among large research-producing nations.The majority of retractions in 2023 were from journals owned by Hindawi, a London-based subsidiary of the publisher Wiley. While many of Hindawi's retracted papers may have been sham articles, they were collectively cited over 35,000 times. Read More

UK: Remote Vet inspections allowed in avian influenza outbreaks

15 December, 2023 The Government has approved a measure that enables veterinarians to conduct remote video inspections of poultry located within avian influenza disease control zones. These changes stem from a focused four-week consultation involving the poultry industry and veterinary organizations, during which 97% of respondents expressed support for the authorization of remote inspections.
In the event of a confirmed case of avian influenza, control zones are established around the affected premises, imposing stringent regulations on the movement of poultry and kept birds within that zone to curb the spread of the disease. Read More

FDA: 2022 Antimicrobial sales report for food-producing animals

9 December, 2023 Recent data published by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveals a 4% increase in the sales of antibiotics deemed medically important for the treatment of food-producing animals in 2022. The report indicates a total distribution of 6.2 million kilograms (kg) of these antibiotics for use in livestock, including chickens, turkeys, cattle, swine, and others, compared to 5.9 million kg in the previous year. Medically important antibiotics, which are closely monitored due to their usage in human medicine, constituted 56% of the total antibiotics sold for application in food-producing animals. Read More

Alternatives to culling newly hatched chicks - new report

5 December, 2023 A recent report delves into the practice of culling within various sectors of the poultry industry, encompassing commercial egg production, the disposal of chicks and embryos from broiler breeder birds, newly hatched turkey poults, and newly hatched ducklings. This report, issued by The Animal Welfare Committee of the Welsh government, outlines alternatives to culling newly hatched chicks in the egg and poultry industry. Notably, The Animal Welfare Committee serves as an expert body under the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, collaborating with both the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government. Read More

ESVAC 2022 report

1 December, 2023 The thirteenth ESVAC report presents data on the sales of veterinary antibiotic agents from 31 European countries in 2022. European countries have substantially reduced sales of veterinary antibiotics, which translates into a lower risk of bacteria becoming resistant in people and animals. Overall sales of veterinary antibiotics decreased by 53% between 2011 and 2022, reaching the lowest level ever reported, according to data from 25 countries. This is one of the key findings of the thirteenth annual report on the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC): 2009 - 2023. Read More

Canada: 2022 Veterinary antimicrobial sales

30 November, 2023 This week, the Canadian government released a report indicating a slight decrease in the sales of veterinary antimicrobials in 2022. The quantity of sales for poultry saw a percent change of -34% in kilograms and -35% in milligrams per Population Correction Unit (PCU). Read More

Italy bans cultivated meat products

16 November, 2023 Italy has made history by becoming the first country to outlaw the production, distribution, and import of cultivated meat derived from animal cells. The Italian parliament passed this groundbreaking law after months of careful consideration, citing its necessity to safeguard the Italian production system, preserve thousands of jobs, and protect the nation's culinary heritage.
Furthermore, the legislation explicitly prohibits the use of meat-related terms for plant-based meat substitutes. Violations of this provision carry fines ranging from €10,000 to €60,000 for each offense. Read More

Surge in imports of low-welfare eggs from caged hens to UK

3 November, 2023 The Guardian reported that eggs from flocks in poor welfare conditions are increasingly being shipped to the UK. Official data reveals a dramatic surge in the number of eggs imported from Poland between 2021 and August 2023, escalating by more than 2,000% from 46 shipments to 1,095. Similarly, imports from Italy surged by nearly 300% between 2022 and 2023, rising from 72 shipments to 279. The total number of imported shipments rose from 422 in 2021 to 2,120 in 2022 and has already reached 2,536 in the first eight months of 2023. The primary concern lies in the quality of these imports.
Egg imports from Poland have frequently been associated with salmonella outbreaks. Read More

Italy withdraws controversial bill to ban cultivated meat

19 October, 2023 The Italian government has withdrawn two proposed laws that were under consideration by the European Union. These two laws were as follows: first, a bill seeking to prohibit the production and marketing of lab-grown meat, and second, a regulation aimed at restricting the use of terms like "salami" or "steak" on plant-based meat product labels. In March of this year, Italy's far-right government, led by Giorgia Meloni, introduced a draft law with the objective of outlawing lab-grown food in Italy, encompassing cultivated meat. The penalties for those involved in the production or trade of such proteins included a hefty €60,000 fine and the possibility of having their production facilities shut down. Read More

USA: Improving antibiotic stewardship in food-producing animals

18 September, 2023 Nearly 20 organizations focused on public health, environmental issues, and food safety collectively dispatched a letter to US legislators. Their primary objective was to advocate for amendments to federal legislation aimed at enhancing the responsible use of veterinary antibiotics.
The missive implores Senate leaders to revise the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA), pinpointing specific modifications that would compel the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate and disclose the effectiveness of its efforts in overseeing the application of medically important antibiotics in livestock and poultry. Originally enacted in 2003, the ADUFA necessitates reauthorization every five years and is currently slated to expire on September 30. Read More

Brussels rethinks animal welfare plans over food cost concerns

14 September, 2023 The EU's proposed prohibition on the utilization of cages in agriculture has been postponed. Initially disclosed by the Financial Times, it was revealed that the EU is contemplating abandoning its intentions for more stringent animal welfare regulations, including the prohibition of caged farming. This reconsideration is prompted by the economic strain caused by rising cost of living, with potential consequences like the restriction of numerous imports from trade partners such as Brazil, Ukraine, and Thailand. Read More

Significance of eggs in eco-friendly diets

Nutrition Bulletin | 2023;48:400–410 22 August, 2023 A systematic review published in the Nutrition Bulletin offers a range of practical recommendations for transitioning to a diet that is more environmentally friendly. Drawing from a review encompassing 16 studies and 18 reviews, the findings suggest that it's feasible to achieve noteworthy reductions in greenhouse gas emissions without necessitating the complete exclusion of animal-derived foods. Instead, the emphasis lies on significantly curtailing their consumption.
Eggs present several advantages within the context of an eco-conscious diet. In contrast to other animal-based protein sources like beef, lamb, and dairy, eggs exhibit a lesser environmental footprint in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, land usage, and water consumption. Read More

Tesco boosts support for UK egg producers

4 August, 2023 Tesco has unveiled additional support measures for its British egg suppliers and producers amidst ongoing challenges in the market. These challenges stem from price hikes in essential inputs like feed and energy, as well as the impact of the avian flu outbreak. The comprehensive support package includes £13.6 million that Tesco has already extended to its suppliers and producers since March of this year. In addition, the company has committed to providing an extra £13.9 million of support until March 2023, with plans to continue assistance beyond that date. Read More

Australia: Global endorsement of caged egg phase-out by 2036

19 July, 2023 By 2036, Australia aims to completely eliminate caged eggs as part of its national guidelines for egg production. These guidelines require egg producers to phase out conventional cages for laying hens by 2036 at the latest. However, some industry leaders are concerned that the proposed timeline for transition is too rapid, potentially resulting in egg shortages and higher prices.
Leading supermarket chains, Woolworths and Coles, have already committed to ensuring that all the eggs they sell will be cage-free by 2025. Read More

Trans-Pacific Partnership raises concerns for British egg producers

16 July, 2023 The newly established CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade agreement enables the importation of eggs from nations employing conventional battery cage systems, which have been prohibited in Britain for over ten years. Consequently, eggs of lower standards may be brought in from countries that rely on caged battery farms, such as Mexico. Leading figures in the industry have cautioned that this could undermine British egg producers who adhere to superior animal welfare and food safety standards outlined in the British Lion Code of Practice.
The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has criticized the government for engaging in a "race to the bottom" in terms of animal welfare standards, pointing out that conventional battery systems were banned in the UK in 2012. Read More

Tyson Foods to remove 'No Antibiotics Ever' label from select chicken products

5 July, 2023 Tyson Foods is reversing its decision by reintroducing specific antibiotics, 'ionophores', into its chicken supply chain. The company will no longer adhere to the "no antibiotics ever" label on certain chicken products.
Tyson Foods has announced its decision to reintroduce specific antibiotics into its chicken supply chain and eliminate the "no antibiotics ever" tagline from its Tyson-branded chicken products. Read More

Egg: Healthy or Risky?

Nutrients 2023 | 15, 2657 30 June, 2023 A review article of evidence from high quality studies on hen’s eggs.
Key findings:
Eggs are highly nutritious, accessible, and affordable, providing essential micronutrients often lacking in diets.
Evidence shows eggs have a positive or neutral impact on health markers, without posing risks in a balanced diet.
Eggs are a high-quality protein and micronutrient source for specific groups with high nutrient needs.
Conclusion: Eggs are a nutritious choice for a healthy, balanced diet. Read More

Rabdobank: World egg prices and supply

23 June, 2023 Nan-Dirk Mulder, a Senior Analyst at Rabobank, examined the scope and factors behind the fluctuating prices of eggs in a recent assessment of the global egg market supply, prices, and trends.
Global egg prices have reached historic highs, significantly impacting the global egg supply. It is uncertain how long this situation will last and whether there are ways to stabilize the supply. However, it is anticipated that prices will remain relatively high throughout 2023, particularly in markets heavily affected by avian influenza, high costs, and regulatory changes. While some markets may experience a slight decline in prices, they are not expected to return to pre-2021 levels due to persistent high input costs. To stabilize the markets, better value chain cooperation, including greater commitment from buyers to mitigate farmers' production risks, is considered a crucial tool. Read More

HPAI: Urgent need for humane approaches to mass killings

19 June, 2023 The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has submitted a petition to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), urging a revision of animal disease regulations. The petition calls for the implementation of audited emergency response plans, including humane depopulation strategies, as a prerequisite for compensating producers for losses during disease outbreaks. The Animal Health Protection Act grants the USDA the authority to order the depopulation of domestic bird flocks or other farmed animals to combat disease spread. In such cases, the USDA can indemnify producers for the loss of birds, eggs, and associated expenses related to depopulation and virus elimination activities.
Over the past 16 months, the United States and other countries have been confronted with an unprecedented highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak. Research suggests that the disease is becoming endemic in wild bird populations in Europe and may soon establish itself similarly in North America. Read More

Britain: High Court dismisses animal welfare claim about broiler chickens

25 May, 2023 The high court in England has dismissed a legal challenge regarding the use of rapidly growing chickens on farms. Animal welfare activists had raised concerns about these genetically-selected breeds, often referred to as 'Frankenchickens,' asserting that they suffer from severe health issues. The court examined the claims that the government had misinterpreted welfare regulations by permitting the farming of these chickens. The case was dismissed by the judge. Read More

A sex-determining system is installed in Norway's largest hatchery

13 May, 2023 At Norway's largest hatchery, Steinsland & Co, a system for determining the gender of chicks while still in the egg has been installed. The process is not only a professional and business requirement for the hatchery but also a growing demand from consumers in Norway.
The system, developed by the Dutch company respeggt, is able to determine the gender of the chick on the ninth day of incubation. Read More

Determining the gender of the chick using MRI method

11 May, 2023 In collaboration with Orben, Hendrix Genetics reports the launch of equipment for determining the gender of chicks while still in the egg using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and artificial intelligence. The method is effective for commercial-scale operations and has been implemented in the Mûr-de-Bretagne hatchery in France. Hendrix Genetics is the breeder of the Dekalb breed marketed in Israel, while Orben is a German company. The real-time sorting method can sort 24,000 eggs per hour and is based on sorting at day 12 of incubation using the Genus Focus machine, which is necessary for regulation in France and Germany promoting the prohibition of male chick culling at day-old. Read More

Dutch plans to buy out livestock farmers to reduce nitrogen pollution

9 May, 2023 The EU has given the green light to a €1.5 billion initiative by the Dutch government to reduce nitrogen emissions by purchasing farms from willing farmers. The scheme is part of the Netherlands' plan to cut nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions by 50% nationwide by 2030, with intensive farming being a major contributor to high levels of these harmful substances.
The buyout program will target farms located near nature reserves, with around 3,000 farms expected to be eligible for compensation. The Dutch agricultural industry, which had exports worth €122.3 billion in 2022, is the second-largest in the world after the US.
The voluntary scheme is a departure from earlier government proposals to reduce livestock numbers, which had met with opposition from farmers who feared compulsory buyouts. Read More

Endless acquires poultry provider, Smithfield Murray

30 March, 2023 The acquisition of Smithfield Murray, a poultry processor, has been announced by the UK private equity firm, Endless. Smithfield, which was established in 1987, supplies prepared raw poultry products to manufacturers that subsequently distribute them to retail and foodservice channels. The acquisition will merge Smithfield with Yorkshire Premier Meat, Endless's other meat processor, resulting in a significant player in the UK's business-to-business protein supply. Read More

New Zealand bans battery cages

3 January, 2023 According to The Guardian Battery cages for layer hens will become illegal in New Zealand in 2023.
The plan to ban battery cages has been 10 years in the making - in 2012, the previous National party government committed to phasing them out by 1 January 2023.
New Zealand has 3.9 million hens for egg production. Read More

Egypt promotes benefits of eating chicken feet

1 January, 2023 The crippling economic crisis in Egypt has resulted in a massive rise in food prices and meat of all kinds, exceeding the worst-case forecasts. Coinciding with the 50 percent rise in poultry prices over the past few months, there have been widespread calls to buy chicken feet on the pretext that they contain a high percentage of protein. Read More