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AI outbreak could hit Ukraine’s poultry export

The recent HPAI outbreak could hurt Ukraine’s poultry exports, Ukraine’s biggest poultry producer MHP said in a statement on 10 December.

Ukraine has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu among backyard birds in Mykolaiv Oblast in the southern part of the country. The follow-up laboratory tests revealed AI RNK of the A1 type H5 subtype, which is contagious to humans. Migrating birds could have been the causative agent source. “We are anxious about the avian influenza outbreak in the Mykolaiv region. We hope, however, that quarantine measures, currently applied in the Kadybyne village, will reduce the risks of possible further transmission of avian influenza in the region. At the same time, we note that MHP does not have production facilities in the Mykolaiv region,” said Iryna Vannykova, spokeswoman for MHP.

Ukraine’s poultry producers are still far away from Avian influenza infected regions’ but do see risks for their exports. Photo: Bert Jansen
Ukraine’s poultry producers are still far away from Avian influenza infected regions’ but do see risks for their exports. Photo: Bert Jansen

She continues: “However, we do fear that the news of the avian influenza outbreak may affect the export of MHP products. Specialists talked online with key partners of the MHP and assured them that there was no dangerous virus in the products supplied to them.” The current outbreak was found far from all industrial sites of chicken meat production, including MHP facilities. The nearest farms with live poultry are far from the epidemiological centre – Oril-Leader PRJSC and Vinnytska Ptakhofabryka LLC are located at least 250 km away from the surveillance zone around the Kandybyne village.

Crucial export

MHP has just recovered from the AI epidemic in Ukraine at the beginning of 2020, the company said in a separate statement. In the first quarter of 2020, the production performance dropped by 10%, but things got better by autumn, the company said. “The first 9 months of the year were tough due to the devastating consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and bird flu, which closed some export markets, causing oversupply, and, consequently, high stocks on the European markets and lower prices globally. However, from the second quarter of 2020, the production facilities are again running at full capacity,” the company said.