Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Poultry layer cages to be banned in Australia

 A ban on keeping egg laying hens in cages is going through final consideration by politicians.Proposed Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry have been released following a national review of poultry welfare and extensive consultation across Australia. The standards will be implemented by politicians later this year. One of the main changes from previous standards will be phasing-out intensive layer hen cages over 10 to 15 years by 2036. The politicians will still allow mislabeling intensive egg production from hens locked in sheds. Officially these eggs are supposed to be labelled 'Barn-laid' but many will still be sold in supermarkets as 'free range'.

Friday, March 03, 2023

Genuine free range farms likely to be safe from Avian Influenza


Australia’s poultry flocks are largely protected by distance from outbreaks of avian influenza which have decimated many other parts of the world. However, that doesn’t mean we are totally immune.

More than 1,050 new high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus outbreaks have been reported in domestic and wild birds across Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Based on recent reports, current H5 HPAI circulating in the northern hemisphere has been detected in otherwise healthy wild birds.

The current widespread and frequent detection of HPAI viruses in the northern hemisphere represents an increased level of risk to Australia

The United States’ Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service keeps current information on how to keep birds and flocks safe from disease. Special emphasis was given for Bird Health Awareness Week - Feb. 28-Mar. 3.

A webinar was held focusing on the hot topic of avian influenza, It can spread between wild birds and domestic poultry, and, has been detected in more than 57 million birds in 47 American states.In Australia, our genuine free range birds are unlikely to be seriously affected by an outbreak of avian influenza or other health issues such as salmonella. The main infections are always likely to occur at intensive facilities with many thousands of birds in sheds and employees moving between infected sites, All businesses selling eggs through supermarkets, trade eggs between themselves – leading to rapid disease spread.

Farms at least risk are those with small flocks which do not handle eggs from other properties.