Bird flu is a worldwide concern. Institutions, organisations, researchers and governmental bodies are spending much money, time and effort to predict, control and kill the disease.
In 2003, outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus had a massive impact on the global poultry industry. This impact was very negative and put the industry under much pressure. Initially after the reported flu had surfaced, import demand for both uncooked and cooked poultry declined substantially. This was due to consumers’ fears of contracting avian influenza by eating poultry meat.
Consequently, this adversely affected poultry consumption in many countries around the world, leading to lower domestic prices, decreased production, and lower poultry-meat exports.
These reductions, however, proved to be short-lived. In a relatively short space of time as prices, consumption, production, and exports returned to pre-outbreak levels. Consumers gained confidence and learnt that poultry was safe if properly handled and cooked. In turn, world demand for cooked poultry increased. The cooked-poultry share of total cooked and uncooked global exports nearly doubled from 2004 to 2006.
In 2006, the world poultry industry was once again under pressure due to HPAI H5N1 outbreaks, but this time concentrated in Europe. By the end of the year, however, world poultry-meat output had reached a new high, although, for some European countries, it was slightly below the 2005 level.
To keep up-to-date with bird flu outbreaks, reports and news, visit World Poultry’s Avian Influenza Update section.