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International Egg and Poultry Review

by 5m Editor
7 February 2007, at 3:45pm

By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week looking at the latest in the UK.

Great Britain

The United Kingdom (UK), which has Europe’s second largest poultry industry and worth an estimated 3.4 billion pounds, reported an out break of H5N1 avian influenza after 2,500 turkeys died. The balance of the flock, 159,000 birds, are in the process of being culled. The outbreak was preceded by reported outbreaks in Hungary on January 24, 2007 and Krasnoder, Russia on January 29, 2007. The strain found in Great Britain was of the same strain found in Hungary. The last time the H5N1 strain was reported in Europe last year was in France in August, 2006.

The outbreak has surprised experts for several reasons. The first reason is because it happened outside the main bird migration period. A wild swan was found dead I March, 2006, in Scotland , but its was thought to have died at sea and washed ashore. Another reason the outbreak surprised experts is that it penetrated a supposedly biosecure shed. The first outbreak was expected to be at a small freerange farm where the poultry has contact with wild birds. As a result, experts are wondering if this is a primary case which means it can be stamped out, or a secondary case, which is considered much serious.

Poultry producers and retailers in the UK are preparing for possible economic ramifications from the bird flu discovery. The reason poultry producers are concerned is they are taking a look at France’s outbreak last year and the placing of immediate trade bans on their exports outside of the European Union (EU) of at least 6 months.

Supermarkets are concerned about possible sharp possible drops in poultry sales after watching the sharp drops in other parts of the EU last year after AI was discovered. However the UK has already faced 2 scares, one in Scotland and one in Norfolk, with no dip in poultry sales reported.
Sources: various new sources

To view the full report, including tables please click here

ThePoultrySite News Desk

5m Editor