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Vaccination Plan for Eastern Province

by 5m Editor
31 October 2008, at 10:30am

SAUDI ARABIA - Farms in the east of the country have started to prepare for winter with a vaccination programme for poultry.

Poultry farms in the Eastern Province have begun their winter vaccinations to protect against the habitual increase in the spread of viruses as temperatures start to fall, according to Saudi Gazette.

Infection rates from diseases such as pneumonia, Newcastle virus and influenza spread in chicken pens with the season’s falling temperatures.

Poultry investors in the Eastern Province said measures taken in poultry farms are part of a comprehensive scheme of preventative measures, including the banning of workers' movement from one pen to another, increased vaccinations and medications, and greater stringency in standards of cleanliness and the use of detergents.

All plots of land are sterilized to prevent the spread of viruses from the time chicks enter pens until they are fully grown and marketed one month after that.

Fatahi Al-Saeed, a poultry dealer, said that poultry farms spend 50 halala (0.5 riyals; SAR 0.50) on vaccinations and medication per chicken. The vaccination of birds begins from the first day a chick enters the pen and continues for 18 days. Sites are disinfected before they are occupied by poultry to kill microbes and viruses in the air.

Mohammed Ouda, a poultry dealer, said that the disappearance of live birds from the market due to the ban on selling unplucked chickens two years ago had helped to greatly reduce infection.

Slaughterhouses now use their own vehicles which are routinely disinfected to protect birds when they are transported from farms to slaughterhouses.

Further measures, such as putting poultry on the market as soon as possible once it leaves the slaughterhouse, have also helped. The vaccination of birds was previously halted while produce was put to market, but the difficulty in selling birds at a set time contributed in reducing birds' immunity.

The cost of live birds has remained stable for the second week running at SAR 6.75-7.00 per chicken.

The previous ten days saw a fall in price.

There are currently five poultry farms in operation producing an estimated 600,000 chickens per cycle, signifying that there will be no shortage in the coming period, concludes the Saudi Gazette report.

5m Editor