World Poultry Day

Happy Monday! Today is May 10th, which means we are celebrating World Poultry Day. Join us in understanding the contributions of this industry, the challenges of avian influenza and why this sector is so important to millions around the world.

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Our world has experienced a ‘poultry revolution’ over the past fifty years. According to the FAO poultry production “soared from 9 to 122 million tonnes between 1961 and 2017, and egg production shot up from 15 to 87 million tonnes.”

During this same period, poultry production became a key pathway for poverty reduction and food security. 80% of rural households in developing regions raise poultry and this plays “a crucial role in sustaining livelihoods in developing countries, supplying poultry products in rural areas, and providing important support to women farmers.”

As the world pushes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we cannot underestimate the importance of poultry in achieving our nutrition and economic goals.

However, this must be coupled with efforts to continually reduce the footprint of production, and many farmers have already taken positive steps.

For instance -- In the U.S., the environmental impact of poultry production has fallen by 50% since 1965, while in Canada, producers have a 37% lower carbon footprint.

Helping producers in developing regions adopt more prevention technologies like vaccines, biosecurity and improved nutrition can help small-scale farms also realize the benefits of increased production alongside a smaller footprint.
Avian influenza is one of the leading threats to poultry welfare and production. Just one outbreak in 2015 cost the United States over USD$3 billion and harmed countless birds.

Producers have implemented various robust prevention strategies, however the past few months have seen an increase in outbreaks in Europe and further afield, highlighting the continued need for coordinated action.

The Pirbright Institute in the UK has created a valuable primer outlining some of the basics of this disease:
  • Protection - Good biosecurity is the first line of defense against avian influenza. 
  • Prevention - Avian influenza can be a challenging disease to prevent through vaccination as it is constantly changing.
  • Preparation - Research at Pirbright is studying the flu at a molecular level to understand how it evolves and prepare new strategies for control.   
Read their full report to learn more or dig deeper into some new research underway at the University of Edinburgh.
“On World Poultry Day we celebrate our animals and the people who look after them every step of the way. Farmers, nutritionists, technicians, veterinarians, employees, operators, and transporters, who are passionate about leaving no stone unturned in delivering safe, affordable, and nutritious food to people across different cultures and nationalities. We are proud of our people and our poultry”

International Poultry Council
Since 24 February 2021, 166 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been reported in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important topic within the animal health sector. The use of sustainable processes can help to prevent diseases (such as Avian flu), reduce the environmental impact of production and create a secure supply chain which sustains jobs and contributes to GDP around the world.

The poultry industry is playing its part and in the below infographic we explore the impact of these sustainable processes which are helping the industry to thrive.
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