FAO AGA e-newsletter #88
FAO and the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) [link to IFIF site, see below] have just released in five languages the Manual of Good Practices for the Feed Industry, a publication that provides practical information to ensure that only safe manufactured animal feed enters the food chain. The publication of the Manual has been financed through the Standard and Trade Development Facility (STDF), which is a global partnership that supports developing countries in building their capacity to implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, guidelines and recommendations as a means to improve their human, animal and plant health status and ability to gain or maintain access to markets.
Animal feed production makes a significative contribution to the global food industry, enabling the production of animal proteins throughout the world. Addressing the safety of feed is of foremost importance if safe food of animal origin has to be produced. Codex Alimentarius, the internationally agreed reference on food safety, has specifically addressed animal feeding in a number of codes and guidelines, notably in the Code of Practice on Good Animal Feeding. FAO assists countries and producers in the practical implementation of these Codex standards by bringing together key players involved in the animal and feed production, feed manufacturing, processing and retail chains to address feed safety. For example, the joint FAO/IFIF Manual of Good Practices for the Feed Industry provides detailed information of how to translate the Codex Code into practice.
FAO AGA e-newsletter #88
03 April 2014 – Avian diseases sometimes pose a threat to animal and human health. Veterinary epidemiologists have been working with public health officials on different strategies to improve surveillance and response to such emergent diseases. The goal of these efforts is to detect diseases early and to prevent transmission to animals and humans by working at the source of the disease. That means identifying and stopping new viruses in bird populations before they spread to other birds, or to people. Recent experience has shown that Live Bird Markets (LBMs) play an important role in the transmission and spread of avian pathogens.
In order to develop global guidelines and tools for improved disease surveillance in the poultry market chain with a focus on LBMs, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized a three-day consultation from 24 to 26 March 2014 with the technical and financial support of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fourteen experts came together at FAO headquarters in Rome from ten countries and four international agencies in order to begin working on creating global guidelines and tools for avian disease surveillance in poultry market chains. At the moment, avian disease surveillance methodologies vary in different affected countries, and even within some countries. A standard methodology would improve avian disease surveillance quality, allowing for the evaluation of surveillance systems and facilitating the comparison of disease data across borders.
FAO AGA e-newsletter #88
03 April 2014 – Animal diseases have increasingly become major global health threats. This is due to factors of change like trends in unregulated livestock intensification, climate change, trade and globalization. The need to increase information exchange amongst nations and research institutes on pathogen behaviour is crucial to preventing, early detection and controlling the emergence and spread of animal diseases.
The international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance (CORDS) is an association that is working towards improving communication and exchange between disease surveillance networks in different areas of the world. In 2012 Professor Nigel Lightfoot, an expert in medical microbiology and ex-Chief Advisor for Emergency Response at the Health Protection Agency, was appointed Executive Director of CORDS, Lyon, France. On 3 March 2014, Professor Lightfoot met with the Animal Production and Health Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.
FAO AGA e-newsletter #83
20 January 2014, Rome- Human infections with the influenza A(H7N9) virus are on the rise again in China and the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities provide opportunity for further spread and human exposure, FAO warned today.
Millions of people and poultry are expected to be on the move and many households will slaughter poultry at home to celebrate the New Year. FAO called upon neighboring countries to remain vigilant in the face of A(H7N9) and other avian influenza viruses, such as highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1.
The number of human infections with H7N9 has considerably increased since late December in East and Southeast China, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The increase in cases was expected, as influenza viruses traditionally show increased activity during the winter months. So far, no other country has reported influenza A(H7N9) in humans, animals or in the market place.
There is strong evidence that people become infected following close contact with infected live poultry, mostly in live bird markets or when slaughtering birds at home. According to WHO, no sustained human-to-human transmission has occurred so far. Genetic analysis by FAO reference centers has revealed that the virus has not changed significantly since its emergence last year.
Focus on root causes and prevention needed
FAO AGA e-newsletter #81, 20 December 2013
Population growth, agricultural expansion, and the rise of globe-spanning food supply chains have dramatically altered how diseases emerge, jump species boundaries, and spread, according to an FAO report released today. A new, more holistic approach to managing disease threats at the animal-human-environment interface is needed, it argues.
Seventy percent of the new diseases that have emerged in humans over recent decades are of animal origin and, in part, directly related to the human quest for more animal-sourced food, according to the report, World Livestock 2013: Changing Disease Landscapes.
The ongoing expansion of agricultural lands into wild areas, coupled with a worldwide boom in livestock production, means that "livestock and wildlife are more in contact with each other, and we ourselves are more in contact with animals than ever before," said Ren Wang, FAO Assistant Director-General for Agriculture and Consumer Protection.
20 December, 2013, Rome – Research on vaccination against Avian Influenza has several needs, including the evaluation of the potential benefits of vaccination at hatchery level for the prevention and control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) conducted a facilitated discussion in Beijing on 3 December 2013 on existing findings regarding the assessment of the added value of hatchery vaccination. Participants included virologists, field experts involved in the control of HPAI, economic experts and scientists from the laboratory division, along with experts from FAO headquarters, the Asia and the Pacific regional office of Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) and the ECTAD office in China.
Unlike classical inactivated vaccines, hatchery vaccines can be mechanically applied to day-old chicks. This approach has already been applied for a few other poultry diseases. The advantages of hatchery vaccination are that: (i) poultry is more easily vaccinated at hatchery than farm level allowing to reach close to 100 percent vaccination in a flock; (ii) it limits the potential spread of the disease because it avoids the presence of vaccinators on farms; (iii) it eliminates the stress of traditional vaccination methods when people handle adult birds; (iv) there is the potential for an earlier onset of immunity in the birds; (v) there may be no need for a booster vaccination in broilers, and only one booster instead of four in layers, although more trials are needed to confirm this; and (vi) a high level of overall coverage in poultry population is more easily reachable.
20 December, 2013, Rome – OFFLU, the joint network of expertise on animal influenza between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), organized a technical meeting on vaccination against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) from 4 to 6 December 2013 in Beijing, China. A similar meeting took place in Verona, Italy in 2007, the recommendations from which are still mostly valid today. However, many of the countries participating in the Beijing meeting, in particular China, Egypt, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico, have since gained large amounts of experience in the field of vaccination against HPAI. Government representatives from those countries and participants from FAO and OIE as well as the International Egg Commission (IEC), the International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) came together to share and discuss the experience and progress made at national and regional levels in vaccination against HPAI. The members of the OFFLU Technical Activity on vaccination acted as the scientific and organizing committee for this meeting.
The overall aim of the meeting was to review existing recommendations and to build on these based on countries’ experience and lessons learned. Technical experts were invited to present on recent advances achieved in the vaccination field and to review the technical, social, economic, and political aspects of vaccination against HPAI. Several endemic countries have been implementing mass-scale vaccination of poultry which is a huge financial burden in the long-run and have subsequently moved to targeted vaccination. South Asian countries that face a high prevalence of HPAI H5N1 are considering the potential authorization of vaccine use. The use of protective and updated vaccines that match with circulating influenza virus strains is key in controlling and preventing the spread of avian influenza (AI). However there are many challenges to ensuring that protective vaccines remain constantly available on national markets. Findings from field trials regarding the use of vector recombinant vaccines that can be delivered to day-old chicks in hatcheries suggest these vaccines may have a role to play in vaccination of poultry against influenza.