New tool to protect poultry & human health

03-04-2009 | | |

Animal disease outbreaks have the power to wield devastating economic blows to farmers and some diseases, like Avian Influenza, may even cause human illness. A new tool, produced by Partners in Animal Health at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, aims to minimise disease outbreaks by helping veterinarians and farmers diagnose poultry diseases more quickly.

Poultry Examination and Diagnostics, a 3-hr instructional video series and interactive diagnostic tool, was produced by veterinarians at the College and funded with an educational contract from the USDA.

“This is a unique, multimedia resource that will improve diagnostic speed, accuracy, and disease response in poultry,” said Dr Jodi Korich, director of Partners in Animal Health. “Veterinarians who specialise in poultry medicine, pathology, public health, and education collaborated with the single goal of helping to protect food supplies and public health in the US and internationally.”

The resource is available to the public free of charge through Cornell’s Partners in Animal Health website. The information is also available on a 3-disc DVD set that can be installed on a laptop computer and used in the field. In an effort to help protect global food supplies, these training materials are being distributed by the USDA in many developing nations throughout Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

“In economically-challenged regions of the world, poultry flocks of all sizes play a vital role in feeding large numbers of people,” said Dr Alfonso Torres, former US chief veterinary officer and associate dean for public policy. “Unfortunately, veterinarians in most developing nations typically have limited access to educational information. With Poultry Examination and Diagnostics, Cornell and the USDA have provided educational resources that can help ensure better veterinary healthcare to flocks of all sizes.”

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist