Poultry farming, a healthy sector

calendar_today6 aprile 2017

CONFERENCE ON "THE HEALTH SITUATION OF ITALIAN POULTRY FARMING: FOCUS ON THE MAIN DISEASES REPORTED IN 2016"

Forlì, April 6th 2017 - At the 50th edition of Fieravicola the veterinarians of Sipa (Italian Society of Bird Diseases) have discussed the health status of chickens, turkeys and pharaohs. Biosecurity measures in farms have been increased, in the attempt to prevent a possible comeback of the avian flu virus next winter.

The health status in the Italian poultry farms is definitely stable: the only concern is due to the recent outbreak of avian flu, which earlier this year spread in some farms (mostly of turkeys) in the North of Italy. This is the situation discussed on the first day of the 56th Sipa Conference (the Italian Society of Bird Diseases), currently at Fieravicola.

Moreover, the other good news is the further decline in Salmonella positivity rates among laying hens in poultry farms, “evident proof that the national plan aimed at monitoring and controlling health conditions is working perfectly”, said Antonio Camarda, professor at the University of Bari.

The only issues are due to some cases of avian flu, the first ones discovered among wild Anatidae birds of the Lagoon of Grado, which then rapidly spread to a dozen professional breeding farms (they were mostly facilities for broiler turkeys) between January and March and to some small rural areas in four regions of the northern Italy (Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna). Diagnostic laboratories confirmed that the source of this contagion was an heterogeneous group of flu viruses of H5 subtype, highly pathogenic and common among wild population.

Hence, the veterinarians are quite worried about next winter: a strict implementation of biosecurity measures becomes essential, in order to prevent the breeding farms along the migratory routs from being contaminated. Let’s not forget that the limited number of outbreaks of the 2016-2017 epidemic was due to local veterinarians, who immediately reported these cases to their colleagues at the National Veterinary Service. Proof that the wellbeing of the avian species bred in Italy is in excellent hands.

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