18 DEC

USDA confirms virulent Newcastle Disease in a commercial chicken flock in California

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a commercial chicken flock in Riverside County, California. This finding is part of an outbreak in southern California that began in May 2018 in backyard birds. This is the first case in commercial poultry since 2003. Read more

18 DEC

Can water treatments help reduce Salmonella levels before processing?

Feed withdrawal before moving broilers to the processing plant appears to increase their susceptibility to Salmonella, indicates research from the University of Georgia. When feed is withdrawn, a decrease in lactic acid production occurs, causing the pH to become more neutral. The result is an environment favorable for bacteria like Salmonella to flourish in the crop, Caitlin Harris, graduate research assistant at the university, told Poultry Health Today. Read more

18 DEC

Changes to CPF board of directors Executive Committee

Tom Bower of Foster Farms will lead the California Poultry Federation as chairman with the recent announcement by Zacky Farms that they will be going out of business by January 2019. Matt Junkel of Petaluma Poultry will serve as vice-chairman. David Pitman continues as Past Chairman.

The Executive Committee appointed Dalton Rasmussen, president of the Squab Producers of California, as the new secretary-treasurer. Rasmussen was named president of the Squab Producers in 2012 after the retirement of former CPF board chairman Bob Shipley. Squab Producers of California is a unique a cooperative of small independent farmers. As a cooperative, Squab Producers brings the best of both worlds to its customers – birds raised by small, independent farmers AND a modern HACCP-compliant USDA inspected processing plant which utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to assure the optimum in quality and food safety.

“The squab industry has always participated in the meetings, quality assurance programs and seminars sponsored by the CPF, and they also support our political PACS and the scholarship fund,” President Bill Mattos said. “Dalton will be a great member of the Executive board.”

Rasmussen has served on the Squab Producers board of directors since 2008 and he worked as production manager of SupHerb Farms in Turlock for eight years before leading the squab organization. He was raised outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, then moved to Livermore, California where he graduated high school. He graduated from Modesto Junior College with a poultry science degree and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BS degree in Poultry Science. He married Amy Conroy in 1998; they have three children.

Today he also grows squab for the cooperative and farms walnuts as a hobby.

“We look forward to working with Dalton on the CPF Executive Committee as we reach out and work with industry and political leaders in the coming year,” said CPF Chairman Bower.

17 DEC

Costco tightens standards for antibiotics use by meat producers

Costco, the warehouse retailer, took steps to control use of medically important antibiotics, the overuse of which in animal agriculture presents a risk to human health as bacteria become resistant to the drugs. The move comes as Costco is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to control more of its poultry supply chain.

Costco, in the midst of developing its own poultry processing plant to go with an already substantial company-owned beef supply operation, has set out new standards and monitoring requirements for antibiotic use in animal agriculture, making it one of the largest food retailers to take on the issue.

Antibiotics important to human health have been overused in meat production, contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which the World Health Organization warns could cause 10 million deaths a year by 2050.

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17 DEC

E. coli: Fewer antibiotics means more biosecurity

The threat of E. coli infection in poultry farms has never been far away. It continues to be one of the most important sources of economic and welfare problems in poultry production. While at the same time, the increased pressure on farmers and vets to abandon antibiotics for the sake of human health, is taking away the most effective approach in the vet’s anti-E. coli toolbox. Remains vaccination and biosecurity. Moreover, vaccines will only be effective if biosecurity is at a high standard. It is therefore not over the top, to say that preventing E. coli infections is still very much a hygiene matter. Read more

17 DEC

Opportunities for US duck sales in Mexico

Mexico imported nearly $4.4 million of frozen duck meat in 2017. The United States is Mexico’s main duck meat supplier, 97 percent by volume of the total amount imported. While the market for duck meat is relatively modest, there is room for growth. In order to help expand the market, USAPEEC, in conjunction with FAS-Mexico and the Indiana Soybean Alliance, hosted a series of events to promote U.S. duck meat with foodservice professionals in Mexico City.  Read more

17 DEC

Foie gras off Amazon.com’s menu in California after settlement

Amazon.com has agreed not to sell foie gras in California from birds that have been force-fed and pay $100,000 in penalties and costs as part of a lawsuit settlement, a prosecutor said Friday. The lawsuit filed by prosecutors in Los Angeles, Monterey and Santa Clara counties accused the world’s largest online retailer of violating a 2004 state law banning sales of the fatty duck and goose liver if it was produced by force-feeding poultry. A judge approved the settlement on Thursday between Amazon and the three prosecutors, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. Amazon declined comment.  Read more

10 DEC

DOJ sides with California in egg standards lawsuit

The Department of Justice does not feel the Supreme Court should intervene in a case brought by 12 states challenging California regarding California’s law requiring egg producers across the country comply with California’s production standards regulations in order to sell eggs into California. A total of 12 states – led by Missouri and including Iowa, the country’s biggest egg producer – asked the Supreme Court to strike the law down, saying that California’s laws were preempted by the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA), the federal law that oversees egg production, and that they violated the Interstate Commerce Clause, a section of the U.S. Constitution that gives the federal government power to regulate commerce between states.

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10 DEC

EPA, USDA encourage use of market-based and other collaborative approaches to address excess nutrients

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a letter to state and tribal co-regulators that encourages increased engagement and a reinvigoration of state, tribal and federal efforts to reduce excess nutrients in waterways, with a focus on market-based and other collaborative approaches. “Thanks to the hard work of states, tribes and stakeholders, the EPA and the USDA have made significant progress reducing excess nutrients in some watersheds.  Now is the time to build on that success and leverage the market-based approaches that we know can lead to meaningful results across the country,” said David P. Ross, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.

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