14 MAR

Duncan McMartin, UC Cooperative Extension poultry specialist emeritus in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, died Jan. 14

Duncan Alexander McMartin passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 14, 2017, from complications following routine surgery.

Duncan was born on March 30, 1932, to Alistair and Jean McMartin, at East Lodge on the Rannoch Estate at the west end of Loch Rannoch, Scotland, where his father was head gamekeeper. Duncan, along with his siblings Betty, Jessie and David, enjoyed a country childhood. Some of his best days were spent out on the moors or loch, hunting and fishing, more often than not with a dog by his side. His stories of growing up in such a wild and beautiful environment during a bygone era have kept friends and family entertained and inspired for many years. Read more

14 MAR

USDA has $80-$90 million to fight bird flu

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has $80 million to $90 million left over from the last major outbreak of bird flu to fight any new discoveries of the virus, the department’s chief veterinary officer said on Thursday.

USDA must appeal to Congress if more money is needed to fight the disease, which was recently found in two U.S. states and also has been confirmed across Asia and in Europe. Any potential request for emergency funding is complicated as U.S. President Donald Trump’s choice for the position has not yet been confirmed by the Senate. Read more

14 MAR

Cobb-Vantress launches animal welfare website

As part of a campaign to bring transparency and education about its on-farm animal welfare programs, officials with Cobb-Vantress Inc., announced the launch of a website on March 13 (www.cobbcares.com), which highlights the company’s commitment to the millions of chickens it is responsible for producing each year. Cobb-Vantress, a global poultry breeding stock supplier, is using the website to highlight educational programs, flock management and poultry health initiatives it has developed. Read more

09 MAR

USDA issues update on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Tennessee

USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has confirmed the full subtype for the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza reported in Lincoln County, TN. The virus has been identified as North American wild bird lineage H7N9 HPAI based upon full genome sequence analysis of the samples at the NVSL. All eight gene segments of the virus are North American wild bird lineage. This is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia. While the subtype is the same as the China H7N9 lineage that emerged in 2013, this is a different virus and is genetically distinct from the China H7N9 lineage.
As additional background, avian influenza viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1-H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1-N9). Many different combinations of “H” and “N” proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype, and subtypes are further broken down into different strains. Genetically related strains within a subtype are referred to as lineage.
Read more


09 MAR

Protect your poultry from Avian Influenza

University of California poultry experts are urging poultry owners to examine biosecurity for their flocks after avian influenza was confirmed in commercial chickens in Tennessee by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Sunday (March 5). To protect the birds’ health, UC scientists recommend taking measures to prevent poultry from coming into contact with wild birds.
“Based on the initial sequence of the virus, the source of the virus is thought to be waterfowl, said Maurice Pitesky, UC Cooperative Extension poultry specialist in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. “This is consistent with the current understanding of how avian influenza spreads and evolves. Specifically, juveniles are infected at breeding locations and travel south in the fall carrying virus. As the waterfowl move southward, they are more likely to interact with other species, increasing the risk of interspecies transmission and formation of new varieties of avian influenza.” Read more


09 MAR

NCC applauds reintroduction of bipartisan bill to reform ethanol mandate

Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today reintroduced the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act (H.R. 1315), that would among other things, eliminate the corn-based ethanol requirements of the RFS. 

The National Chicken Council applauded the reintroduction.
“This is the perfect time to get these important and well considered reform proposals on the drawing board,” said Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council.  “There is widespread dissatisfaction across the board with the RFS, and the EPA’s administration of it.  Reform of the RFS is inevitable.  This bipartisan legislation is a good place to start.” Read more


09 MAR

French foie gras prices to spike due to ravages of bird flu

The foie gras industry, hit by a bird flu crisis for the second year running, needs to change production methods to protect its poultry flocks, a producers group said on Thursday, warning that will raise the price of the delicacy.
France, which has the largest poultry flock in the European Union, has been severely hit by the H5N8 bird flu virus that has been spreading in Europe since late last year. It led to the death or culling of 3.7 million ducks in the southwestern part of the country, home to most foie gras producers, according to producers group Cifog.
Read more


07 MAR

USDA confirms Highly Pathogenic H7 Avian Influenza in a commercial flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) of North American wild bird lineage in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States this year. The flock of 73,500 is located within the Mississippi flyway.  Samples from the affected flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at Tennessee’s Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.  Virus isolation is ongoing, and NVSL expects to characterize the neuraminidase protein, or “N-type”, of the virus within 48 hours. Read more 

07 MAR

USPOULTRY urges poultry producers to perform biosecurity self-assessments

The USDA Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tenn. USPOULTRY would like to remind its members of the USDA Checklist for Self-Assessment of Enhanced Biosecurity that is available on the USPOULTRY website. “With this positive H7NX finding, there is an urgent need for all poultry producers to be vigilant in maintaining biosecurity on farms, particularly wild bird control at this time of year,” said Dr. John Glisson, vice president of research programs for USPOULTRY. Click here for more information and links for the checklist and additional resources. 

07 MAR

New U.S. HPAI reports spark bans, hit stock prices

Confirmation of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Tennessee has prompted three Asian countries to impose bans on chicken from the Volunteer State, according to several media reports.
About 73,500 birds will be culled on a chicken breeder farm contracted to Tyson Foods Inc. in the first case of HPAI in the United States this year, according to USDA reports. Tyson released a statement that it is working with state and federal officials to prevent the H7 virus from spreading. About 30 other farms in the area have been placed under quarantine as tests on those birds continue. Read more