Lyon – April 2013
Worldwide Partnership in Action at Merial Avian Forum
Health brought to life its pledge to work in partnership with the global avian
industry in its recent Avian Forum in Istanbul. The event was attended by 500
delegates from 73 countries who took part in sessions on ‘Future Challenges of
the Poultry Industry’.
sessions also reflected the key components of the ‘Merial Gear Partnership’,
which was launched at the forum, and concentrated on ‘Immune Foundation and Early Protection in
Chickens’, ‘Maximising Genetic Potential’, and ‘Performance Achievement and
Jérôme Baudon, Head of Global
Strategic Marketing Avian for Merial said: “Merial has a strong product range
and continues to develop products to help meet the future challenges in markets
across the world, but just having the right products is not enough. We are providing a greater service element to
what we do including the provision of new equipment to help increase efficiency
and productivity for our customers.
“Partnership is at the
heart of what we are doing - working
with our customers, vets, and others in the industry to help meet the challenges
of increased demand for broilers and layers across the world. The Merial Avian
Forum is just one part of our strategy to invest in the industry as whole. It
has been a tremendous opportunity to meet people from all over the world, and
hear about their experiences, as well as to share the expertise of a wide range
of authoritative speakers.”
In its three sessions
the Forum explored many aspects of production and health, as well as touching
on aspects of the supply chain that are critical for producers to understand.
Leading experts talked about the foundations of immunity and how vaccine works,
as well as exploring the efficacy of particular vaccines and vaccinations programmes.
There were also
presentations on some of the key threats such as Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease,
Gumboro disease, Infectious Bronchitis, Salmonella and Campylobacter, and representatives
from all the major global genetics companies talked on the subject of ‘Correlation
of Immune Foundation and Health Status with genetic expression’. Speakers from
the processing and retail ends of the supply chain described the challenges of
production and meeting the demands of today’s sophisticated consumers.
Notes to Editors
A summary of the
presentations given during the Forum is attached. Abstracts of the papers given are available on
Hi-res photos are
available on request.
Merial is a world-leading,
innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of
products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of
animals. Merial employs approximately 6000 people and operates in more than 150
countries worldwide. Its 2012 sales were €2.2 billion ($2.8 billion).
Merial is a Sanofi company.
For more information, please see www.merial.com.
Summary of Speaker Papers at the Merial Avian
Meeting Consumer Challenges
The first speaker at
the Forum represented the consumer end of the supply chain. Barry Barnett from
Church’s Chicken, which trades as Texas Chicken outside the USA, provided an
excellent start to the event. As well as giving the background to this rapidly
growing chain, he pointed out the increasing importance of food safety and
quality. He also outlined the challenges of modern consumers who are looking
for improved traceability. This, combined with increased communication through
channels such as social media, means the consequences of not delivering on the
consumer promise can be disastrous.
Immune System in Embryos and Young Chicks
Kaspers from Munich University spoke on ‘The Importance of the Immune System
from Embryos to Young Chicks’, and described how the innate immune system and
then the adaptive immune system developed. Donna Hill from HatchTech in the
Netherlands gave a presentation on ‘Day-Old Chick Health’ and emphasised that,
while chick quality at hatch is important, the job of creating good chick quality
is only partially complete when incubation is finished.
Improved Efficacy against IBD
Two speakers from
Merial Animal Health spoke about Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD, and vectored HVT-ND vaccines compared
to classical vaccines. Research Program Leader Michel Bublot spoke about the
mechanisms of action for these different types of vaccines, while Head of
Biological Project Management described the outcome of vaccination programmes
against IBD and Newcastle Disease. Both the research programme and field study
demonstrated improvement in control of IBD using vectored vaccines, but showed
little improvement against Newcastle Disease .
Merial Vaccination Services at the Hatchery
Dr. Chris Fritts,
Poultry Science Research Manager for Merial’s Global Vaccination Technology spoke
about the overall industry trend of vaccination moving from the field to the
hatchery. To support the increase requirement for hatchery vaccination, Merial
provides a wide range of hatchery vaccination equipment including in-ovo andsubcutaneous injectors, spray
cabinets, hand held sprayers, eye droppers and hand held syringes.
Poultry House Environmental Management
The second session on
‘Maximizing Genetic Potential’ began with a presentation on ‘Current Trends in
Broiler Technology and Management’ by Professor Michael Czarick. Professor
Czarick specializes in poultry house environmental management and provided a
fascinating insight into methods of controlling poultry house temperature and
ventilation. Steve Pritchard from Premier Nutrition returned to the issue of
high feed prices and the need to optimize inputs, particularly with modern
birds with improved genetic potential.
Why do we still have Newcastle Disease?
Dr. Guillermo Zavala
from Georgia University spoke about Newcastle Disease and asked the question:
‘Why after so much vaccination do we still have so much Newcastle Disease?’
Among the reasons that he suggested were biosecurity and infrastructure,
failures of vaccines or vaccination practice, bird and manure handling, poor
control of immunosuppressive disease, and the emergence of multiple genotypes
of Newcastle Disease.
Overview of Avian Influenza
Dr. Ian Brown of the
AHVLA in the UK gave a comprehensive overview of the current state of affairs
with regard to Avian Influenza. He said that AI is becoming an increasing
problem for global poultry industry. He said that the impact of the highly
pathogenic H5N1 alone has been estimated to be in excess of $20 billion to the
global economy with over 400 million poultry culled or killed due to infection.
Overview of IBV
Dr. Brown’s colleague
Richard Irvine provided an overview of the epidemiology of Infectious
Bronchitis Virus (IBV) and information relating to detection, diagnosis,
impacts and prevention of IBV. He also highlighted the fact that IBV is a
disease of major economic importance to the industry.
Merial Vaccination Technology in the Field
Technology Manager for EMEA Region, Ludovic Porcher reviewed the equipment
available for field vaccination. Despite the movement of more vaccinations from
the field to the hatchery, field vaccinations remain critical and Merial has
introduced a variety of technology to make field vaccination easier and more
efficient. He described a variety of equipment including syringes and spray
Major Breeding Companies
In the final session
of the conference on ‘Performance Achievement and Food Safety’, Merial was
delighted to welcome representatives of the major breeding companies to the Forum
including Aviagen, Cobb, Hubbard, Hy-Line, ISA-Hendrix and Lohmann Tierzucht.
All the speakers took different approaches to the subject of the ‘Correlation
of immune foundation and health status with genetic expression’.
Broiler Meat Production
This last session was
completed by a presentation from Dr. Sarge Bigili who provided an insight into
broiler chicken meat production, and the way that performance is measured at
processing. He made the point that since the processing plant is the only
profit centre in an integrated broiler company, continued emphasis on product
safety, quality, welfare and yield is economically crucial.
Challenges of Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella
Dr. Paul Wigley from
Liverpool University talked about the main challenges in poultry meat and egg
safety in terms of Campylobacter jejuni
and Salmonella enteritidis. He spoke of the need to avoid complacency with
regard to Salmonella despite the
strides that have been taken in its reduction in the UK. He also pointed out
that in contrast the number of cases of Campylobacter have continued to rise with poultry meat
being considered by far the largest source of infection.
Also on the subject of
Salmonella, Antonia Ricci, the
Director of the Food Safety Department at Istituto Zooprofilattico dell Venezie
in Italy, spoke on the EU Experience.
Vector Vaccine Success in Practice
The final two
presentations of the Forum look at the performance of HVT-IBD Vector vaccine
(Vaxxitek®HVT+IBD). Veterinarian Miguel Alonso Castro described a study on 24 broiler
flocks carried out in Spain in 2012. The flocks were split into a control group
that received a live vaccine of immune-complexes in ovo, and a Vaxxitek group,
which received Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD in ovo. The overall conclusion of the
study was that vector vaccine (Vaxxitek) applied in ovo where there is high
pressure of IBD, is associated with improvement in production parameters at
farm and slaughterhouse.
Dr. Luis Alberto
Botero, Scientific Director of Avidesa MacPollo, S.A. Colombia spoke of his
company’s experience in trialling Vaxxitek HVT+IBD. Very virulent strains of
IBD had reduced the effectiveness of the company’s use of live attenuated
vaccines against Gumboro Disease. The results of the trials showed performance
improvements in all measures including body weight, daily weight gain, feed
conversions rate, mortality, and condemnations. Dr. Botero also said that the
change reduced reliance on antibiotics, and improved response to vaccines
against Newcastle Disease and Infectious Bronchitis.