Thursday, October 17, 2013

Avian flu outbreak may cause an industry re-think

The sheer scale of the outbreak of avian influenza on a 400,000 hen egg farm at Young in NSW is sending shockwaves through the industry.

It is supposedly a 'state of the art' farm with an intensive free range operation mixed with cage layer sheds.

Once the dust has settled and investigations into how the outbreak started, and why internal biosecurity measures did not stop the disease from spreading to the hens in cages the industry needs to take a good hard look at itself.

Are these massive farms with intensive production systems the great idea that corporate egg farms say they are? Is is sensible to have such large numbers of hens (or any animals) in such a small space? Are there specific problems with multiple production systems on one farm, intensive free range as well as barn or cage operations?

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