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December 16, 2020

Marek’s disease vaccination needed now more than ever

Two circumstances have initiated reconsideration about the value of Marek’s disease (MD) vaccination. One is the explosion in no-antibiotics-ever poultry production and concern that in ovo vaccination for MD could lead to increased first-week mortality. There’s some truth to this concern — if needles are penetrating a contaminated eggshell. The solution, however, is not abandoning MD vaccination. It’s improving sanitation throughout the hatchery and especially egg sanitation. The other circumstance that brings the value of MD vaccination into question is the imminent decision by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to allow carcasses with MD-induced leukosis lesions to be trimmed instead of discarded. Why bother with MD vaccination? Read more