• Posted by Anitox

Researcher Confirms: Poultry Will Find AI in Feed

It's four years since Independent Poultry Veterinarian Dr. Haroldo Toro warned that AI virus may survive in chicken feed, especially when it is unprotected from contamination by organic material such as faeces.

Dr. Toro, Professor with Auburn University’s Department of Pathobiology, Alabama, USA, told representatives of the industry’s leading layer, broiler and turkey sectors that finding AI in feed is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but “if it’s there, then birds will find it.”

His results confirmed that pathogen control solutions Finio® and Termin-8® were impactful in controlling AI. We tested the viability of one strain of AI in feed after treatment with Termin-8 and Finio. Under experimental conditions Termin-8, for example, offered an extremely high level of AI virus inactivation (99.9%) within one hour.

While there is no silver bullet, having studied the USDA reports into risk of AI spread in contaminated corn, it's clear that the world's leading layer producers are increasingly convinced that feed has the potential to play a part. We might not have all the pieces of the jigsaw in place, but we have enough of a picture to be convinced feed should be treated as part of an effective biosecurity program. In tracking AI spread, our experts are looking for multiple vectors. Migratory birds are widely accepted to be responsible for inter-continental and inter-state spread. The answer as to how individual farm biosecurity is being breached, though, is more complex. There are multiple mechanical vectors under the spotlight, with feed appearing on that list for two reasons. Firstly, migratory birds settle and shed on feed raw materials such as corn. Any protection normally offered by heat in the pelleting process is absent, as layers and turkeys are predominantly fed mash. The pattern of clustered local incidence following an initial outbreak could be linked to the virus’s ability to survive in water sources, and the frequent transfer of passerines and vermin between water and stores of finished feed.

We know small birds and rodents are efficient mechanical vectors, and that they are attracted to water and feed, effectively building a bridge between migratory birds and farmed poultry. Termin-8 has the potential to break that transmission route. Its residual impact, based on our experience with Salmonella, suggests we can protect the feed against recontamination for up to 21 days post pelleting.

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