Ontario poultry producers are advised to pay careful attention to biosecurity during planting season due to the threat of avian influenza from migratory birds
The 2015 London Poultry Show has been cancelled due to concerns over avian influenza
Traceability in the egg and poultry industry is evolving and growing stronger in Canada, and 2015 marks some news highlights on this front.
As a general biosecurity recommendation, farms should only admit visitors that are essential to the farming operation.
With the ban on conventional cage systems in Europe in 2012, the same birds that once lived in cages of four are now living in groups of 30 to 100 birds
Honey Bee AirFLEX...
North American Manure Expo comes to Canada...
For the first time ever, the North American Manure Expo is being hosted within a Canadian province. The annual show is being held August 20 and 21, 2013, at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, located near Guelph, Ontario. So, what's a Manure Expo and why should you attend? This video will provide all the dirt.
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitatio...
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitation
The population explosion...
With the world's population increasing exponentially and farmland staying the same, BASF took to the streets to ask consumers if this trend is sustainable.
Vaccination is one method used to help prevent the spread of infectious poultry diseases, but current vaccines could be safer and more effective. At the Agricultural Research Service’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) in Athens, Georgia, scientists are developing vaccines to help reduce virulent virus shedding—excretion of virus by a host—and disease transmission from infected birds to healthy ones. Microbiologist Qingzhong Yu and his colleagues have created a novel vaccine that protects chickens against infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV), two of the most economically important infectious diseases of poultry. Both viruses cause sickness and death in domestic and commercial poultry as well as in some wild birds throughout the world. “While current ILTV live-attenuated vaccines are effective, some of the viruses used to make them can regain virulence—causing chickens to become chronically ill,” says Yu. “Other types of vaccines can protect birds from the disease’s clinical signs, but barely reduce the virus shedding in their respiratory secretions after infection. Those vaccines are not that effective, because they do not reduce the risk of virulent ILTV transmission to uninfected birds.” Most vaccines used in the United States are formulated with NDV isolated in the 1940s. However, since then new NDV strains have emerged that are genetically different, according to Yu. Worldwide, the NDV LaSota strain has been used as an NDV vaccine. “It is very stable and very effective, and there have been no reports of virulence increase,” Yu says. In previous research, SEPRL scientists successfully used LaSota strain-based viruses to develop vaccines that protect birds against two other poultry viruses—metapneumovirus and infectious bronchitis virus. Now, in a recent study, Yu used reverse genetics technology, which allowed him to generate new vaccines by inserting a gene from the ILTV virus into the NDV LaSota strain. The new vaccines were stable and safe when tested in chickens of all ages. Experiments involved more than 100 1-day-old Leghorn chickens and 120 3-day-old commercial broilers. All vaccinated birds were protected against both ILTV and NDV, showing few or no clinical signs and no decrease in body-weight gain. These vaccines worked as well as current live-attenuated vaccines, Yu says. They can be safely and effectively administered by aerosol or drinking water to large chicken populations at a low cost. “There is a huge market for these types of vaccines because they can protect poultry from ILTV as well as NDV,” Yu says. “Developing a commercial vaccine that provides better protection against disease would have a positive economic impact on the U.S. poultry industry and also make its products—meat and eggs—less expensive for consumers.” NDV causes disease in more than 250 species of birds and typically causes respiratory, gastrointestinal, and/or nervous system symptoms. The most severe form of Newcastle Disease can result in disease and mortality rates exceeding 90 per cent in susceptible chickens. The most recent U.S. outbreak, which occurred in 2002-2003 in California, Nevada and Texas, illustrates the devastation and financial cost that can result: more than 3.4 million birds were destroyed, and the cost of controlling the outbreak in California alone was more than $160 million. ARS has filed for a patent on the vaccine invention, which has generated interest from private companies that are considering using this research to develop commercial vaccines. This research is part of ARS National Program #103, Animal Health. "Novel Vaccines Effective Against Poultry Diseases" was published in the March 2015 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
April 15, 2015 – Brent Royce of Listowel has been named the 2015 recipient of the Farm & Food Care Champion Award. The award was presented at Farm & Food Care’s annual meeting on April 15 by Bruce Christie, a Farm & Food Care board member. Royce was nominated for the award by Turkey Farmers of Ontario (TFO) and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Royce grows crops and raises turkeys on his family farm and has been involved in farming for his entire life. Royce is a strong advocate for agriculture, using every opportunity available to him to talk about farming with non-farming Canadians. He was among the first to sign up for Farm & Food Care’s Speak Up ambassador training, and has since become a regular interviewee by many Canadian (both rural and urban) media sources. Royce also actively engages the public through social media using Twitter. Since 2011 he has posted over 4,500 tweets about the day-to-day workings of his farm, and has engaged audiences with several blog posts. Royce and his family also hosted a television crew to film their farm for a virtual turkey farm tour which is now housed at www.virtualfarmtours.ca. He is a graduate of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, is a long-serving volunteer on the Perth Federation of Agriculture, is a director representing Huron and Perth counties for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and is chairman of the Uncontrolled Electricity Working Group –a committee working to help manage uncontrolled electricity and its adverse effects of livestock farmers. Royce is also involved with both the Innovative Farmers’ Association of Ontario and the Perth County Soil and Crop Improvement Association. In its nomination, Turkey Farmers of Ontario described Royce as “a passionate turkey farmer and great agricultural advocate.” His industry involvement and public outreach, said TFO General Manager Janet Schlitt, makes him an ideal candidate for the recognition. Bruce Christie, chair of the Farm & Food Care Foundation, describes Royce as a worthy candidate for the award. “Ontario agriculture needs strong spokespeople to talk about food and farming," says Christie. "Mr. Royce uses every opportunity to do just that whether it’s engaging through social media or talking with consumers one on one.” The award was originally created in 1999 by the Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC) to recognize individuals, organizations and businesses. With the amalgamation of OFAC and AGCare in 2012, the award was renamed and is presented annually to a worthy agricultural advocate.
April 15, 2015 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have developed an improved Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vaccine evaluation procedure that could be used to select better vaccines to treat the disease. Newcastle disease, one of the most important poultry diseases worldwide, can cause severe illness in chickens and other birds. Severe, or virulent, strains rarely occur in poultry species in the United States, but they are regularly found in poultry in many foreign countries. Available commercial NDV vaccines perform well in chickens infected with virulent NDV under experimental conditions. They also perform well under field conditions where virulent virus is not common. However, they often fail in countries where virulent viruses are endemic.At the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) in Athens, Georgia, microbiologist Claudio Afonso and veterinary medical officer Patti Miller have updated the traditional vaccine evaluation method, which does not compare vaccines or take into account suboptimal field conditions. Under perfect conditions, vaccines should work, but conditions are not always perfect in the field, according to Miller. Chickens sometimes get less than the required vaccine dose and don't always have the minimum amount of time required to develop an optimum immune response. The improved vaccine-evaluation procedure compares vaccines made using genes from the same viral strain-or genotype-that the birds are exposed to in the field to vaccines made with a strain that differs from the virus birds are exposed to. Using the improved procedure, scientists inoculated chickens with different vaccine doses before exposure to a high dose of virulent NDV. Birds given the genotype-matched vaccine had reduced viral shedding, superior immune responses, reduced clinical signs, and increased survival than the birds vaccinated with a different-genotype vaccine. By using genotype-matched vaccines, viral shedding and death were significantly reduced.ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.