News update:May 12, 2010

Poultry farmer – veterinarian contract advocated

Laying hen farms should use services of veterinarian more often the Dutch Poultry farmers Union (NVP) advocates.

NVP is convinced that problems on the farms will be detected earlier and medicine use can be reduced.
“Poultry farmers should engage in fixed business relationships with a veterinarian on an hourly basis and travel expenses. If the vets are paid through the medicines they sell it is too tempting to prescribe something,” NVP secretary Jan Brok says in daily ag paper Agrarisch Dagblad.
This implies a turnaround in thinking for the egg sector. In the poultry meat sector it is already common policy that a vet visits the farms on a regular basis.
Laying hen farmers mostly contact a vet once they have problems with the birds and often as a second notice. “First they call the representative of the feed supplier, then the hatchery and after that perhaps the veterinarian. That has been grown that way, because there were hardly any health problems with caged layers,” Brok thinks.
Problems are identified too late this way. Examples are the recent outbreaks of coryza and Salmonella gallinarum.
The Product Board for Poultry and Eggs said that the reporting compliance for these diseases was not executed properly, among others because there is not enough interaction with veterinarians.
Brok says that it is ideal if a vet visits the layer farm every six weeks. “But any system is better than no system. Even if a vet visits the farm every half year means a step forward. It is all about awareness.”

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