Friday, April 19, 2024

Poultry biosecurity plan holds export promise

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MPI moots ‘compartment’ system to raise certified disease-free chicks.
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The Ministry for Primary Industries wants to allow exporters of day-old chicks and hatching eggs to establish biosecure compartments that can be certified free from particular diseases. 

The MPI is now looking for feedback on a notice titled Regulated Control Scheme – Production of day-old chicks and hatching eggs within a compartment for export. 

A compartment is defined as a subpopulation with a specific health status. 

“In this case, poultry companies involved in the production of hatching eggs and day-old chicks for export would independently establish a compartment around the part of their company involved with production of hatching eggs and day-old chicks for export.”

The compartments would be target disease such as avian influenza, Newcastle disease and specified salmonella serovars.

It is possible additional diseases will be added later, the MPI said.

The proposed scheme would include measures such as listing of compartments, requirements for a documented biosecurity management plan, infrastructure requirements, traceability, sanitisation, verification requirements, disease monitoring and surveillance requirements and requirements for independent evaluators, the MPI said.

This proposed notice would issue export requirements and impose a Regulated Control Scheme under the Animal Products Act 1999 on companies choosing to take part in the scheme to administer and provide oversight of listed compartments, the MPI said.

The executive director of the the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand, Michael Brooks, said this would give exporters more certainty that they could continue exporting even if there was an exotic disease outbreak somewhere else in the country.

Importing countries will also have confidence that exported products are not a potential risk, Brooks said.

In 2022, fertile eggs and day-old chicks were worth an export value of $55,400,000, he said.

Statistics from the MPI showed last year 3,189,406 day old chicks were exported, with 6,184,941 hatching eggs exported.

The establishment of compartments is a detailed process and development to this stage has taken a lot of work by both the MPI and the industry, he said.

If egg and chick growers want to create such a compartment on a farm the new standard will set out biosecurity standards that must be met and proven by way of audit that the required steps have been taken, he said.

New markets could open if importers have the confidence that exporters are not a risk, Brooks said.

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