Government

Antibiotics in Aquaculture – Are They Needed? - TheFishSite.com

GLOBAL - The miracle drugs of the 20th century are in danger of running out of power. Antibiotic use in both humans and animals is contributing to a reservoir of resistant bacteria resulting in increased human mortality and increased hospital stay lengths globally, writes Øistein Thorsen.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns the misuse of antimicrobial medicines and new resistance mechanisms are “making the latest generation of antibiotics virtually ineffective”, while at the 2013 G8 Summit, scientific ministers issued a statement calling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) “a major health security challenge of the twenty first century.”

Antibiotic use is an integral part of intensive animal agriculture and aquaculture. Increased public concern about antibiotic resistance and the need to preserve the ever-diminishing arsenal of antimicrobials that work in humans for as long as possible, has brought about increased scrutiny of the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture – especially for prophylactic and growth enhancing purposes.

Yellow Spotted Stink Bug found in NZ

An exotic pest found lurking in South Canterbury has the region on high alert, after a biosecurity response was launched by the government. 

A Yellow Spotted Stink Bug was discovered by an "eagle-eyed resident" last week in Temuka.

He found the bug - a single female - in his garden, before raising the alarm.

Exhaustive inspections of the resident's property had not revealed evidence of more bugs, but the existence of a breeding population could not be ruled out.

Mexico: Experts Discuss how to eradicate FMD

GUADALAJARA, Jalisco (OEM-INFORMEX) .- This week, Guadalajara will host the XXII Conference of the Regional Commission of the World Organisation for Animal Health, where the main challenge is that in Latin eradicate FMD, a disease livestock and causes economic losses to producers.

During the celebration of the global meeting, reported an outbreak of FMD in Paraguay left losses billion, which pushed for vaccination of livestock to prevent further involvement.

"The global control of animal diseases is impossible without good governance of national veterinary services, including appropriate legislation, in line to apply correctly human and financial resources, good programs for veterinary education and public-private partnerships," he said in his speech Bernard Vallat, director of the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Bird flu outbreak reported on British duck farm - Yahoo News

London (AFP) - A duck breeding farm in northern England was closed off on Monday after an outbreak of bird flu, although officials said the risk to public health was "very low".

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it might be linked to outbreaks in the Netherlands and Germany, but said it had yet to identify the strain, although the deadly H5N1 had been ruled out.

An estimated 6,000 ducks on the farm will be culled and a 10-kilometre (six-mile) restriction zone has been put around the site near Driffield in Yorkshire.

"We have confirmed a case of avian flu on a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire. The public health risk is very low and there is no risk to the food chain," a Defra statement said.

Any movement of poultry or products in or out of the protection zone is prohibited.

"Obviously we are asking farmers to be doubly vigilant in their biosecurity and look for any potential signs of disease in their flock," a spokesman added.

Dutch to cull 150000 chickens after detection of bird flu - Deutsche Welle

The Netherlands' Ministry for Economic Affairs said on Sunday that while testing was still being conducted to determine the exact strain, it was already clear that this was a form of the virus that could pose a danger to people.

"This highly pathogenic variant of avian influenza is very dangerous for bird life," a government statement said. "The disease can be transmitted from animals to humans."

The virus was first detected at a poultry farm in the village of Hekendorp, 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of Amsterdam late on Saturday. The authorities said they were in the process of slaughtering all 150,000 birds at the farm. It wasn't immediately clear how birds at the farm had become infected.

The government has also imposed a 72-hour ban on the transport of all poultry products including eggs, manure and used straw to and from all poultry farms in the country.

According to the Reuters news agency, around 10,000 chickens were put down in March after bird flu was detected at a farm in eastern Holland.

Highly contagious bird flu strain found at Dutch farm - The Guardian

Dutch authorities said on Sunday they had found a highly contagious strain of bird flu at a poultry farm in the central Netherlands and set about destroying 150,000 chickens.

The strain, H5N8, has never been detected in humans, but an outbreak in South Korea meant millions of farm birds had to be slaughtered to contain the outbreak.

Cases have also been reported in China and Japan, although the strain was first reported in Europe, on a German farm, in early November.

The Netherlands imposed a 72-hour ban on transportation of poultry products, including birds, eggs, dung and used straw to and from poultry farms across the country, which is the world’s leading egg exporter.

The European Commission said it expected to adopt urgent interim protective measures on Monday to contain the outbreak, including a ban on selling poultry products from the affected areas to EU and third countries.

Between them, Dutch poultry farms sell more than 6bn eggs abroad every year, though it is not known how many of the 697 farms are exporters. Germany is the largest destination, at 75% of all exports, figures published by Rabobank showed.

German, Dutch, UK bird flu outbreaks could be linked: OIE chief - Yahoo News

PARIS (Reuters) - Bird flu outbreaks in the past two weeks in Germany, the Netherlands and Britain could be linked as the virus is most often transmitted through wild birds, the head of the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) told Reuters on Monday.

"Some migrating birds can travel thousands of kilometres," Bernard Vallat told Reuters. "(The virus) could appear anywhere at any time."

However, Vallat stressed that although the H5N8 strain found in Germany earlier this month and in the Netherlands over the weekend can cause severe damage to poultry flocks, it had never been detected in humans.

The H5N8 strain hit Asia severely but had never been reported in Europe before it was detected at a German turkey farm.

It was still unclear whether the outbreak at a duck-breeding farm in northern England involved the H5N8 strain but Britain's chief veterinary officer said it was not the deadly H5N1 strain, which can be transmitted to humans and has caused the death of hundreds of people.

Bird flu case on duck breeding farm - Daily Mail

By Press Association

Published: 07:00 EST, 17 November 2014 | Updated: 07:00 EST, 17 November 2014

Measures to prevent the spread of bird flu are under way after the first serious case in the UK for six years.

Farmers around the country have been warned to be on alert after at least one case of the virus was confirmed at a duck breeding farm in the Driffield area of East Yorkshire.

A 10km restriction zone has been put in place and all poultry on the farm is being culled in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease.

Chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said more cases could follow.

He told the BBC: "We cannot rule out that there might be further cases; this is why we put premises under restriction to look for further spread.

"Because there's a wild bird risk we also need farmers and their vets all over the country to be alert to possible disease in their farm that they can't explain, draw those to our attention so we can investigate quickly, and, if there is any more disease, seek to nip that in the bud as well."

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed the outbreak it is investigating is the H5 virus, but ruled out the H5N1 strain, which has caused deaths in humans.

The last serious case of bird flu was in 2008, when highly pathogenic H7N7 was found in free-range laying hens near Banbury, Oxfordshire. A few instances of bird flu have been detected in poultry farms since then but none has involved the more dangerous H5 or H7 strains.

Scientists scramble to figure out deadly snake fungus - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A fungus that's killing snakes in Wisconsin and several other states — including endangered rattlesnakes — is baffling scientists who are trying to figure out how it's spreading.

Wildlife biologists are comparing it to white-nose syndrome, which is devastating bat populations. The mysterious disease has been documented in timber rattlesnakes in four Wisconsin counties: Sauk, Grant, La Crosse and Trempealeau.

Snake fungal disease leaves bumps, scabs or crusty scales on the head and mouth.

"It's not a good death," said Rori Paloski, a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation biologist. "A lot of the deformities are on the face and mouth. A lot of them die from starvation or dehydration because they can't eat or drink."

Last year Wisconsin's DNR was awarded a two-year grant of $10,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor nine sites where timber and massasauga rattlesnakes live.

Timber rattlesnakes are listed as threatened or endangered in several states, though not in Wisconsin. Massasauga rattlesnakes are endangered in Wisconsin.

Fonterra waits for China dairy rebound - Radio New Zealand

Fonterra is confident demand for dairy products in China will rebound sooner rather than later.

Chief executive Theo Spierings said China's recent stockpiling of dairy products was not surprising and he expected demand to return to normal as inventory there runs down.

Mr Spierings dismissed a suggestion made at the annual meeting of the Fonterra Shareholders Fund on Friday that Fonterra had been stockpiling product in order to boost prices in its global dairy trade auctions.

He said that, early last year, Australia and the United States were experiencing drought, there was a significant issue with foot and mouth disease in China, New Zealand also suffered a drought and a botulism scare had sparked the recall of infant formula world-wide.

"So it's five supply events in a row, there's 1.3 billion people to be fed ... what happens when you see supply dropping or a potential food scare, you start start storing goods," he said.

He said customers had not been buying recently because they had been using up those very high inventory levels.

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