EU: Program to reduce salmonella will jeopardise competitiveness

27-10-2008 | |
EU: Program to reduce salmonella will jeopardise competitiveness

“The EU programme to reduce salmonella contamination in eggs and poultry flocks will jeopardise the competitiveness of European poultry producers.”

This was the conclusion of 32% of leading nutritionists, veterinarians and other industry experts from a survey held at the Alltech poultry technical seminar. A further 20% said that it will lead to the illegal use of antibiotics and 18% that it will result in unrealistic expectations for consumers.

Over 110 delegates attended Alltech’s poultry technical seminar where a panel of six international industry experts presented their views and participated in question and answer sessions with the attendees on current industry issues. Over 60 of the delegates and speakers participated in confidential electronic surveys on the current situation and the future of the European poultry industry.

Almost 50% of those survey estimated that feed prices will decrease significantly over the next year, 10% believed that they would stay the same, while 37% said that prices will increase further. Over half claimed that broilers are more sensitive to disease as a result of genetic development, 39% said that they are more resistant.

Of the respondents, 44% agreed that energy use would become the biggest challenge to poultry producers in the future, 13% said that it would be trace minerals, 12% said greenhouse gases, 13% ammonia and 8% phosphorous. 90% of respondents said that, in the future, a 2kg broiler will be able to achieve between 1.2 – 1.4 FCR.

The ban of battery cages will reduce egg quality, said 27% of respondents; 18% said that it would lead to increased mortality and 10% concluded that the ban would result in reduced laying performance. Of those surveyed, 29% said that consumers will be unaware of the welfare improvement introduced by enriched cages with a further 46% stating that consumers are mainly motivated by price.

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Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist