The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) was designated by the World Trade Organization as the international standards setting body for animal health. The OIE collects, reviews and analyses the latest scientific information on animal disease control and develops the recommended standards which Member Countries use to protect themselves against the introduction of pathogens without applying unjustified trade barriers. The Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Health Codes establish standards for the improvement of terrestrial and aquatic animal health and welfare and veterinary public health worldwide. Animal health measures related to international trade should be based on OIE standards.
Although many Member countries are now participating and contributing to the standard setting process, many still do not do so. The OIE continues encouraging Member Countries to review the reports produced by all its Commissions, and in particular, the reports of the Aquatic and Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commissions. Through this process Member countries can provide meaningful comments to improve the proposed changes to the standards or new proposed Code chapters. Current relevant topics under review are the new Code Chapter on Animal Welfare and Laying Hen Production Systems, and the revised chapter on Infection with Avian Influenza Virus. The United States has been actively engaged with reviewing and commenting on new proposed text to existing chapters and any concerns with the text is reflected in these comments. There are several items of concern with the current proposed draft of the new chapter on the welfare of laying hens, including specific proposed language on perching, dust bathing, nesting and foraging. Together with the US Egg Industry, the US comments were developed and submitted to the OIE for consideration. Once Code chapters are adopted, the OIE encourages Member countries to implement the recommended animal health standards to facilitate trade and minimize unjustified barriers.
Focal duodenal necrosis (FDN) is an important enteric disease of table egg layers. Currently, FDN is among the top-ten disease concerns of the U.S. egg layer industry according to the Association of Veterinarians in Egg Production. Significant economic losses result from lowered egg case weights and the cost of treatment in affected flocks. Results from our recent research, funded by the Egg Industry Center, have advanced our understanding of FDN. We have determined the epidemiological profile of FDN-affected flocks. Results from this epidemiological study revealed several management and dietary practices in affected flocks that may increase the opportunity of pathogen introduction and that may predispose to enteric diseases, including Clostridial-associated enteritis. Bacteriology sampling of affected flocks revealed Clostridium perfringens as the most frequently isolated bacterium from birds with typical gross lesions. Chickens challenged with Clostridium perfringens and/or duodenal homogenates obtained from FDN lesions developed enteritis; however, the development of a representative challenge model for FDN may require the presence of other infectious agents and predisposing factors that remain to be identified.
Increases in egg production have led to an increase in poultry manure. As production increases, sustainable and economical approaches for managing poultry manure are needed. Traditionally handled as a waste product for egg facilities, land application of manure occurred and agronomic benefits began to be established at the field level. However, as research started to verify these benefits, the environmental aspects of the application focused solely on water quality and didn’t look holistically at agro-ecosystems indicators such as crop yield, soil health, and the economic impact of integrating poultry manure into cropping systems. As a result, a long-term poultry manure fertilizer study was initiated in 1998 and continued until 2009 under corn-soybean rotation. In 2010, the study continued and monitored the changing crop trend of continuous corn and application. Come learn about the results of this research to be able to clearly communicate the impact to your customers and consumers regarding soil health and nutrient levels, crop yield, and drainage water quality of poultry manure when compared to use of synthetic fertilizers.
Eggs are still the most affordable source of animal protein to feed constantly increasing human populations. In the last couple of decade’s egg production increased exponentially to keep up with market demand. Recently, keeping layer flocks in longer cycles became another practice as a response to increase egg production. This practice is claimed as an efficient utilization of both financial and environmental resources. However, a big obstacle with this practice is maintaining good shell quality throughout of hens’ life. With that perspective, maintenance of the shell quality and skeletal health of birds become the most important component in commercial operations in order to benefit from a longer cycle. Birds’ environment as well as their genetic potential also plays a big role. This presentation will share information to help you manage longer lay cycles while maintaining the shell quality you and your customers should expect.