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Calls to address antimicrobial resistance and poultry diseases

Concerns over the failure to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in poultry in developing nations have been raised at this week’s Poultry Africa Expo in Rwanda.

Scientists spoke of their concern that small-scale farmers in Africa did not have the skills or understanding to control and better manage their farms.

Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, principle scientific officer for livestock at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, said people in developing countries were using antibiotics whenever there was a disease outbreak without accurate testing.

The consequences of AMR included failure to successfully treat infections, leading to increased mortality; more severe or prolonged illness; production losses; reduced livelihoods and food security and higher costs of treatment.

And experts also spoke about high pathogenic avian influenza had caused devastating effects in Africa.

Edir Silva, former president of the World Poultry Science Association (WPSA), said: “We need to come up with strong preventive measures to contain poultry diseases and to boost financial support for preparedness and response efforts in Africa and globally.”

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), avian influenza outbreaks have been confirmed so far this year in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The two-day Expo and conference in Kigali featured 70 international companies. Rwanda’s Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister Dr Geradine Mukeshimana said the event represented a great opportunity to bring together poultry industry stakeholders to explore news technologies and learn best practices to increase poultry productivity.

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