Newcastle disease control measures keep Israel poultry export market alive

By MJ Deschamps

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Poultry Meat Livestock

Enforced control measures are being implemented to contain outbreaks of the viral Newcastle disease amongst domestic poultry and other bird species in Israel, and help avoid interruptions in both the national and export markets.

“We are taking steps to contain the outbreak – enforcing regulations a bit harder than we used to, and trying to make sure that compliance is improving,”​ Dr Nadav Galon, director of veterinary services and animal health at Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, told GlobalMeatNews​.

Since the end of February, there have been six new outbreaks of Newcastle disease, mostly affecting chickens, reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), occurring in Mele’a; Ram-on; Gan Shemu’el (where turkeys have also been sick); Elqosh and Dalton. They involved 3,800 cases, resulting in 1,670 poultry deaths, and a further 36,400 birds destroyed. The source of the outbreaks – which first began in December 2010 – is still unknown.

In the event of an outbreak, the Israeli veterinary authorities apply control measures such as stamping out infected flocks, quarantine and zoning. Additional measures to be applied include the disinfection of infected premises.

According to the European Commission, these measures are enough to avoid any real impact on trade with Israel. “Exports of live poultry, day-old chicks and hatching eggs of poultry, poultry meat, wild bird game meat, eggs, meat preparations and meat products only having undergone a non-specific treatment are prohibited for exports to the EU from the 10km restricted area,”​ said a Commission spokesman for health and consumer policy.

“The impact of Newcastle disease on the trade of poultry and poultry products is limited, as import prohibition only applies to the areas that Israel has placed under veterinary restriction around infected holdings.”

Dr Galon added that the government of Israel was compensating farmers whose flocks have been destroyed on a case-by-case basis.

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