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Village poultry and their owners were frequently implicated in disease transmission in the early days of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 pandemic. With improved understanding of the epidemiology of the disease, it was recognized that village poultry raised under extensive conditions pose less of a threat than intensively raised poultry of homogeneous genetic stock with poor biosecurity. This paper provides an overview of village poultry production and the multiple ways that the HPAI H5N1 pandemic has impacted on village poultry, their owners, and the traders whose livelihoods are intimately linked to these birds. It reviews impact in terms of gender and cultural issues; food security; village poultry value chains; approaches to biosecurity; marketing; poultry disease prevention and control; compensation; genetic diversity; poultry as part of livelihood strategies; and effective communication. It concludes on a positive note that there is growing awareness amongst animal health providers of the importance of facilitating culturally sensitive dialogue to develop HPAI prevention and control options.
Impact of Avian Influenza on Village Poultry Production
Robyn Alders,
Joseph Adongo Awuni,
Brigitte Bagnol,
Penny Farrell,
and Nicolene de Haan
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, 425 Werombi Road, Camden, NSW 2570, Australia
International Rural Poultry Centre, Kyeema Foundation, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
International Rural Poultry Centre, Kyeema Foundation, C.P. 1168, Maputo, Mozambique
Infectious Disease and Global Health Department, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Grafton, MA
Accra Veterinary Laboratory, Veterinary Services Directorate, Box M 161, Accra, Ghana
Department of Anthropology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy
Abstract: Village poultry and their ownerswere frequently implicated in diseasetransmission in the earlydays of the
highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 pandemic. With improved understanding of the epidemiology of
the disease, it was recognized that village poultry raised under extensive conditions pose less of a threat than
intensively raised poultry of homogeneous genetic stock with poor biosecurity. This paper provides an overview of
village poultry production and the multiple ways that the HPAI H5N1 pandemic has impacted on village poultry,
their owners, and the traders whose livelihoods are intimately linked to these birds. It reviews impact in terms of
gender and cultural issues; food security; village poultry value chains; approaches to biosecurity; marketing; poultry
disease prevention and control; compensation; genetic diversity;poultry as part of livelihood strategies; and effective
communication. It concludes on a positive note that there is growing awareness amongst animal health providers of
the importance of facilitating culturally sensitive dialogue to develop HPAI prevention and control options.
Keywords: family poultry, food security, gender, genetic diversity, poultry value chain, poultry disease
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was first re-
ported in Italy in 1878 (Stubbs 1965). Up until the late
1800s, the contact structure and small size of extensive and
semi-intensive chicken flocks meant that emerging diseases
could not spread easily (Swayne and Halvorson 2003) and
would therefore burn themselves out in a localized fashion.
Swayne and Halvorson (2003) identified five distinct man-
made ecosystems that have impacted avian influenza (AI)
virus ecology: (1) integrated indoor commercial poultry,
(2) range-raised commercial poultry, (3) live poultry
markets (LPMs), (4) backyard and hobby flocks, and (5)
bird collection and trading systems. In addition, the evo-
lution of HPAI would have faced similar drivers as new
variants of virulent Newcastle disease virus (vNDV) due to
the following characteristics of current poultry production
systems including: (1) host genetic homogeneity (with few
host adaptive bottlenecks), (2) high density rearing
(allowing close animal-to-animal contact and favoring
Correspondence to: Robyn Alders, e-mail:
DOI: 10.1007/s10393-013-0867-x
2013 International Association for Ecology and Health
transmission of vNDV over low pathogenic NDV), and (3)
intensive vaccination programs (which provide selective
immune pressures and may be executed improperly in
developing countries; Higgins and Shortridge 1988).
In the 1990s, prior to the HPAI H5N1 pandemic, the
world’s poultry population grew by 23% in developed
countries and 76% in developing countries (Branckaert
et al. 2000). This spectacular increase was largely the result
of increased commercial production, notably in the Far
East where growth averaged 90%. Until the 1990s, the
highly pathogenic form of AI had caused sporadic high
mortality in poultry (reported mainly in commercial
chicken units) in a small number of countries (Capua and
Alexander 2009). Since 2003 it has received unprecedented
international attention as outbreaks of HPAI have become
more common (Capua and Alexander 2006).
Village poultry can include a wide range of birds
including indigenous and crossbred breeds of chickens,
quail, mallard and Muscovy ducks, pigeons, guinea fowl,
geese, and turkeys (Alders 2012a). They are raised in vil-
lages for food, eggs, as pets, or for social or religious uses
usually in small flocks usually of 1–50 birds (Alders and
Pym 2009) and with no more than 100 multi-age birds
`ye 1998; Martin 1992; Sonaiya 2009; Sultana et al.
2012). Of these birds, chickens, quail, guinea fowl, and
turkeys are highly susceptible to HPAI (Perkins and Swayne
2003). Prior to the emergence of HPAI H5N1, mallard
ducks and pigeons were thought to be resistant to the
disease but recent reports suggest that these birds may
replicate and occasionally succumb to HPAI (Hulse-Post
et al. 2005; Jia et al. 2008; Werner et al. 2007).
In the last decade of the twentieth century, village
poultry production contributed 70% of total poultry
production in most low income, food-deficit countries
(Branckaert et al. 2000). In the twenty-first century, vil-
lage poultry continue to make critically important con-
tributions in many countries to poverty alleviation,
household food security, women’s empowerment, HIV/
AIDS mitigation, and wildlife conservation (Alders and
Pym 2009).
Village poultry production was frequently implicated
in the transmission of HPAI N5N1 in the early days of the
pandemic (GRAIN 2006). Subsequently, epidemiological
studies have traced the movement of this virus and dem-
onstrated that this disease, which is highly fatal to poultry,
requires a high density of, and frequent movement be-
tween, susceptible flocks which are more commonly asso-
ciated with intensive production (FAO 2011). Despite this
knowledge, information suggesting the relatively greater
role of extensively raised village poultry, in relation to
intensive, commercial production, in the introduction and
transmission of HPAI persists. This misunderstanding
continues to impact negatively on these birds and their
owners as investment in extensive and semi-intensive
smallholder poultry production reduced considerably
during the years immediately following the H5N1 pan-
demic (Hong Hanh et al. 2007)
In this paper we will provide an overview of the
multiple ways that the HPAI H5N1 pandemic has impacted
on village poultry, their owners, and the traders whose
livelihoods are intimately linked to these birds. It reviews
impact in terms of gender and cultural issues; food security;
village poultry value chains; approaches to biosecurity;
marketing; poultry disease prevention and control; com-
pensation; genetic diversity; poultry as part of livelihood
strategies; and effective communication.
Poultry and people have had a shared history in many parts
of the world and are frequently an essential part of the
fabric of societies across a broad range of cultures (Alders
2012a). Village poultry producers include the men, women,
and children who make up households that raise poultry.
The demography of producers varies globally with women
and children generally being more likely to be in charge of
extensively raised village poultry and men more likely to
own and provide labor in small-scale intensive poultry
production (Alders and Pym 2009; Bagnol 2009a). The
reason for producing poultry also varies from the need to
provide petty cash, household food and for ceremonies to a
primarily commercial venture (Alders and Pym 2009;
Bagnol 2009a; Sonaiya 2009).
In countries where village poultry production pre-
dominates, women, especially those from female-headed
households, frequently derive a significant percentage of
their income from poultry production (Alders and Pym
2009; Bush 2006; Gue
`ye 2005). Some of the most com-
pelling reasons for women to engage in poultry farming are
because of the small size of investment needed, the hardi-
ness of the animal, the limited barriers to entering and
exiting the poultry value chain, and the ease of doing it
from their homes (Alders and Pym 2009; Bagnol 2009a;
Sonaiya 2009; Sultana et al. 2012). Women, who are fre-
quently the primary owners and managers of village
R. Alders et al.
chickens, were considered most adversely affected by HPAI
outbreaks and associated control programs (Bush 2006).
Approximately 20% of the protein consumed in developing
countries comes from poultry meat and eggs (Branckaert
et al 2000). Indigenous poultry breeds, which have evolved
in village environments, are excellent scavengers, trans-
forming feed resources considered unsuitable for human
consumption into high-quality products such as poultry
meat and eggs. Village poultry production is ideally suited
to rural areas where the conditions for a successful com-
mercial poultry sector are rarely met. The ability of indig-
enous breeds to scavenge, to flee predators, to lay and hatch
their own eggs and to contribute to pest control results in a
production system that complements other farm activities
without directly competing with humans for cereal crops
(Alders 2012a). In some farming systems, they provide vital
support for crop production, by ensuring funds to source
seeds for planting, and labor through feeding neighbors or
laborers during planting and harvesting (Sultana et al.
2012), especially for women who might not have access to
labor or a bank account (Alders et al. 2007). The other
aspect that is often underestimated is the ability of chickens
to produce eggs throughout the year, to fulfill needs,
whereas crops frequently have one specific harvest and
income period.
In the wake of the HPAI H5N1 pandemic, millions of
poultry have been killed or slaughtered to control the
spread of the disease. To date, over 50 million domestic
birds have been slaughtered in Vietnam alone due to HPAI
infection (Gutie
´rrez et al. 2009; Velasco et al. 2008).
Widespread culling of family poultry has impacted on
vulnerable households, including those headed by women,
contributing to increased stunting in children under five in
Egypt (FAO 2009) and decreased enrolment of girls in
school in Turkey post HPAI H5N1 control activities
(Bagnol 2009a). Economic losses in the South East Asia
region have totalled around US $10 billion (Gilbert et al.
2008) which has had direct and indirect effects on food
The HPAI H5N1 pandemic has also highlighted the
readiness of vulnerable households to slaughter and con-
sume either unhealthy birds or carcasses of poultry that
have died of infectious disease because of food insecurity, a
practice which pre-dates the HPAI H5N1 pandemic (Alders
et al. 2012). Improving overall production levels of poultry,
including the effective and efficient prevention and control
of all important poultry diseases, will help to reduce such
practices (Alders et al. 2012; Azhar et al. 2010; Hickler
Value chain analysis has proved a crucial tool in the
development of appropriate HPAI prevention and control
strategies (McLeod et al. 2009). A comprehensive analysis
of value chains includes the social and cultural aspects of
the food system and also encompasses the institutional
environment in which food is produced, processed, mar-
keted, retailed, and consumed. The formal rules (public
legislation and private standards) and the informal rules
(social and cultural aspects) and their enforcement impact
on agricultural value chains and their wider innovation
system performance (Taylor and Rushton 2011). The
application of a value chain approach to HPAI risk man-
agement has helped to identify key constraints that, when
addressed, also contribute positively to food security
(Taylor and Rushton 2011).
Biosecurity is the implementation of measures that reduce
the risk of the introduction and spread of disease agents.
Biosecurity requires the adoption of a set of attitudes,
behaviors (including production systems), and motivation
of people to reduce risk in all activities involving
domestic, captive exotic, and wild birds and their pro-
ducts (FAO 2008). Biosecurity does not start or stop at
the household or farm gate. Considering biosecurity along
the whole value chain is important, including in live bird
markets (FAO 2010), and between markets and the pro-
ducer’s home. Economically sustainable and feasible bio-
security measures need to match the production system
involved and the disease risks inherent in that system.
Biosecurity measures have been studied in detail in
commercial poultry because it is an essential component
of the intensive production system where the high density
of genetically uniform birds greatly increases risks of
disease outbreaks.
Impact of Avian Influenza on Village Poultry
In the early days of the HPAI H5N1 outbreak, the
readily available approaches to biosecurity in the com-
mercial sector tended to be applied as a ‘‘one size fits all’’
across all poultry production systems (FAO 2008). How-
ever, it was found that biosecurity measures used for
intensively raised birds are not necessary appropriate for
extensively raised birds. Applying conventional biosecurity
principles to village poultry production is especially chal-
lenging because of the wide range of perceptions about the
origin of disease. Where communities have had limited
access to formal education and are unfamiliar with the
concept that disease is caused by pathogens, most con-
ventional recommendations on disease prevention and
control will be difficult to comprehend (Alders and Bagnol
The epidemiological unit is a crucial factor when
planning and implementing biosecurity measures. With
commercial poultry, the epidemiological unit is at the level
of the poultry shed or poultry farm. In the early days of the
HPAI H5N1 outbreak, there was an assumption that ‘‘vil-
lage poultry’’ where similar to ‘‘backyard poultry’’ [which
are confined to a defined area and not in contact with other
household flocks (Smith and Dunipace 2011)] and so the
household was chosen as the appropriate unit for family
poultry disease control interventions. Significant progress
in the approaches to the control of HPAI in village poultry
was made when it became widely accepted that the
appropriate epidemiological unit was the village (Alders
and Bagnol 2007; Azhar et al. 2010) and therefore required
investment in developing biosecurity measures in collabo-
ration with communities. Subsequently, initiatives that
involve family poultry producers in discussions on appro-
priate biosecurity measures in Indonesia have yielded
excellent results as demonstrated in the case study below.
Indonesia’s Village Biosecurity, Education and Communi-
cation (VBEC) programme began in August 2009 with a
qualitative and quantitative socio-cultural assessment in six
pilot villages to assess community understandings, beliefs,
and practices with regards to poultry keeping, poultry
diseases and its movements. The role of the participatory
disease surveillance (PDS) and response (PDSR) team was
to provide technical assistance and improve awareness
about how poultry viruses move and how diseases may be
prevented, helping community members to develop their
own technically sound approach to control and prevent
The approach was ‘‘bottom up,’’ where the local
community took the initiative of working together to
implement a series of HPAI prevention and control activ-
ities that were realistic and in line with local conditions.
The resulting action plans were agreed in each village with
the involvement of a district livestock services staff member
to ensure continuity, feedback, and technical soundness.
Information, education, and communication activities
targeted existing community groups such as Posyandus
(village integrated health services), religious and devotional
groups, self-help and women’s groups, churches and
mosques, elementary, junior and high-school students, and
other miscellaneous community gatherings. In villages
where commercial poultry producers exist, specific tech-
nical extension messages are provided including technical
discussions covering management issues, poultry anatomy,
and practical biosecurity pertinent to the levels of pro-
duction systems present (FAO 2010).
In many countries where village poultry are important, cold
storage facilities are absent or unreliable and so consumer
preference for live bird markets makes good sense. Family
poultry traders have been dealing with mortality in their
birds due to diseases such as ND for many decades. When
ND control is available in rural areas it benefits both pro-
ducers and traders (Alders 2012b), especially traders that
constantly operate in the same area as the control program.
Traders who knowingly deal in the supply of infected birds
to large markets can only stay in business in large cities
where their identities and reputation are less likely to suffer.
A key lesson from the H5N1 pandemic is that poorly
managed live bird markets and traders’ yards can play a
major role in the persistence and transmission of the AI
virus especially if poultry remain in the market over 24 h,
providing opportunities for transmission within market
stalls (FAO 2011). Market hygiene (cleaning and disinfec-
tion programs) improvements have been introduced in a
number of endemically infected countries which help to
reduce the risk of infection with the AI virus but do not
prevent all cases of infection. Not all live bird markets are
equal in terms of the risk they pose. Small, well-managed
R. Alders et al.
markets that have strict controls over the sources of poultry
do not allow overnight stays from which no live poultry
exit (other than direct to slaughter) represent a very low
risk (FAO 2011). Honhold (pers. comm.) observed that
while it may often be the case that weekly markets at which
live poultry are sold represent a lower risk of disease spread
in poultry than those held every day, it was found in the
field in Nigeria that the poultry traders selling at weekly
markets moved on a daily basis around an established cycle
of such markets, taking stock with them on each day from
one to the next and keeping unsold stock at their perma-
nent bases. This type of trading may present an equivalent
risk to a permanent market in terms of maintaining
infection in stock sold at markets although the environ-
mental contamination should be less. This illustrates the
need to understand clearly the marketing system as well as
the production system in each situation in order to clearly
understand the risks to both poultry and people.
Strict regulation of live bird markets without adequate
consultation with traders has resulted in the parallel trading
of birds which contributed to further spread of the disease
(FAO 2008) (Honhold pers. comm.).
As recently as the 1950s, HPAI was known as Fowl Plague
[a term which also included Newcastle disease (which
emerged in 1926) because their clinical signs were so sim-
ilar], until advances in laboratory diagnostic technology
enabled the differentiation of the two causative agents
(Alders 2006).
Poultry disease prevention and control is hampered by
inadequate surveillance and under-reporting of poultry
diseases which remain a chronic problem in many coun-
tries, both ‘‘developed’’ and ‘‘developing (Ogundipe et al.
1989; Cattoli et al. 2010). The response to the HPAI H5N1
pandemic does not appear to have significantly strength-
ened poultry disease surveillance as suggested by data
submitted to the World Animal Health Organization’s
(OIE’s) World Animal Health Information Database
(WAHID). While the data submitted to the OIE are not a
reliable way of comparing surveillance activities between
countries, it does serve as an indicator of the importance
given by animal health surveillance systems to poultry
diseases. Sensitive disease surveillance systems that provide
the earliest warnings possible are those which are capable of
detecting diseases which have clinical signs compatible with
priority diseases (Alders 2012a). In the case of HPAI, the
list of differential diagnoses includes ND, acute fowl chol-
era (FC), infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), and infectious
bursal disease (IBD, Gumboro disease) (Alders and Bagnol
2007; OIE 2012). Each of these diseases also has a signifi-
cant economic impact on poultry production in addition to
presenting a clinical picture similar to HPAI. A summary of
reports to the OIE in 2005 and 2010 for these five poultry
diseases across five countries suggests that surveillance for
poultry diseases remains a significant challenge (Alders
2012a). A complicating factor is that in some countries,
donor support for HPAI control has targeted this disease in
isolation, therefore funds were not made available for
testing for differential diagnoses. This meant that samples
negative for HPAI were not processed further and farmers
were left wondering what caused the mortality in their
birds. This lack of support for the diagnosis of poultry
diseases is likely to have a greater impact on small-holder
producers as in many countries the larger commercial
producers maintain their own diagnostic facilities.
Cost-efficient disease surveillance activities can be en-
hanced by the combination of classical and participatory
epidemiology (PE) methodologies (Azhar et al. 2010; Cat-
ley et al. 2012). The knowledge and perspectives of pro-
ducers and communities obtained through PE activities has
enabled the targeting of more costly classical epidemio-
logical activities, establishes or strengthens linkages be-
tween stakeholders and provides valuable insights into local
perspectives relating to disease prevention and control to
help tailor future interventions (Azhar et al. 2010; Catley
et al. 2012). During HPAI control activities, effective dis-
ease outbreak responses occurred where prior agreements
have been made between producers or their representatives
and relevant government agencies (e.g., the Australian
Veterinary Emergency Plan Avian Influenza Disease Strat-
egy; Australian Animal Health 2011). Such agreements are
usually made with commercial poultry producers with little
attention given to family poultry producers. Control mea-
sures that do not unduly threaten food security or sover-
eignty are more likely to succeed (Alders 2012a). The
inclusion of gender-sensitive methodologies has been rec-
ommended to increase participation and compliance of
both men and women in disease control activities (Bagnol
The PDSR approach to HPAI in Indonesia is based
on PE and evolved significantly from the PDS system
Impact of Avian Influenza on Village Poultry
developed for rinderpest eradication in Africa and Paki-
stan (Azhar et al. 2010). However, as noted by Catley
et al. (2012), it is crucial that PE not be regarded as an
adjunct to national surveillance systems which aim to
meet the objectives of the veterinary establishment and
international actors, rather than the priorities of poor
livestock keepers in developing countries. Where sur-
veillance activities focus largely on veterinary and inter-
national objectives, community participation in the
control of HPAI will be limited and surveillance systems
are unlikely to work effectively during projects, or be
sustained when external funding is withdrawn. The cur-
rent global economic slow-down reinforces the challenge
to all countries to ensure that they utilize their available
resources optimally. Flexible PE approaches provide an
opportunity to ensure that disease control programs have
the support of national and local animal owning com-
Where compensation packages do exist, they frequently use
commercial poultry prices as the benchmark for establish-
ing the prices to be paid per bird. Market prices for village
chickens are frequently higher than those obtained for
commercial poultry. In the case of game birds, the value of
individual cocks can be up to 100 times the price of
commercial poultry (Hancock 2006). This disparity is yet
one more reason why village poultry owners are reluctant
to engage with official HPAI control programs. In addition,
criteria for receiving compensation can also be biased
against village poultry producers as illustrated by the case
study from Vietnam below.
The current human HPAI case rate in Vietnam is the third
highest globally, with a fatality rate of 50% (WHO 2012).
According to World Health Organization reports, there
have been 121 confirmed cases and 61 deaths in Vietnam
out of a global 684 cases and 346 deaths (WHO 2012). The
virus is currently endemic in Vietnam (Gleeson 2011) and
is believed to be at high risk of causing a human pandemic
should the H5N1 virus adapt to develop human-to-human
transmission (Velasco et al. 2008; Lockerbie and Herring
Approximately 80% of rural households in Vietnam
raise poultry, providing food security and nutrition to
many families, with often the poorest families relying on
this resource the most (Hong Hanh et al. 2007; Lockerbie
and Herring 2009).
In November and December 2011, a small research
study was performed in Quang Tri province, Vietnam. The
aim was to explore, at a village level, local understandings
and social aspects of HPAI’s impact, etiology, diagnosis and
differentiation from other poultry diseases, and prevention
and control methods. Collegiality between human and
animal health workers, and their knowledge and percep-
tions of availability of services and reporting systems in this
region were also investigated.
Compensation of poultry farmers is a key factor in
farmers’ motivation to report suspect cases of HPAI,
therefore rendering it paramount to surveillance and pre-
vention efforts. The pay rate and timeliness of compensa-
tion anticipated varied markedly between study
participants. Some participants stated farmers would only
be compensated if their poultry had already been vacci-
nated against HPAI, as explained by a village animal health
worker in Trieu Do commune, Trieu Phong district, ‘‘If
poultry are already vaccinated (the farmers) get 50% of
market value but if they were not vaccinated they get no
compensation.’’ This was a pertinent finding because most
study participants reported problems with HPAI vaccine
supply (Farrell and Hunter unpublished data).
Relatively little attention has been paid to the impact of
HPAI on the genetic diversity of poultry. In one study in
northern, northeast and central Thailand, it was found that
outbreaks of HPAI and subsequent restocking activities had
impacted on the genetic resources of indigenous breeds.
The percentage of pure indigenous breeds had decreased
markedly while the percentage of crossbred birds had in-
creased (Duangjinda et al. 2012).
Culling of poultry flocks in HPAI affected regions has
been indiscriminate with little to no attention to or
recording of the genetic stock lost (GRAIN 2006). Given
the homogeneity of commercial poultry stocks, culling in
these settings poses little risk concerning the loss of genetic
resources. However, in the case of heterogenous village
poultry breeds, important genetic resources may be lost
without even being characterized. As farming systems seek
R. Alders et al.
to cope with climate change, having access to resilient and
hardy poultry breeds will be a key aspect of coping strate-
Although the majority of poultry are found in commercial
settings, the majority of poultry producers are found within
the smallholder section (Alders 2012a). With the onset of
HPAI, this required a renewed understanding of this
smallholder sector. One of the issues that has been eluci-
dated by the global HPAI H5N1 response is that many of
these smallholder farmers have a very diverse portfolio of
activities which make up their livelihoods. In many cases,
smallholders diversify their portfolio to include varying
degrees of all or some of the following: crop production,
livestock, remittances, non-farm self employment, non-
farm wage, farm wage, and gathering. This diversification is
done to mitigate risk (Ellis 2000).
This required survival strategy means that smallholders
with poultry might not be very willing to invest in either
biosecurity and/or any other animal health inputs, since
they have already developed a system where they have
internalized the risk (Bush 2006). Although much work has
been done to date to understand these issues, and work on
looking at the community instead of the household as entry
point provides some options, further research is required to
understand and appropriately influence these dynamics.
Understanding who owns and takes care of poultry is
critically important as men, women, and children each have
different linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds
and varying access to services (Bagnol 2009a; Alders
2012b). At the beginning of the HPAI outbreak, as many of
the technical recommendations concerning the prevention
and control of the disease were first developed for use in the
intensive commercial poultry industry, these recommen-
dations needed to be adapted for use in rural areas where
village poultry are usually raised extensively (FAO 2010,
2011). Because of time pressures, communication strategies
were frequently developed in a hurry with little consulta-
tion with village poultry producers and inadequate pre-
testing of communication materials (Alders and Bagnol
2007). Currently, the control of HPAI continues to be
hampered by the use of HPAI prevention and control
messages that were developed by technical advisers with
little understanding of the daily reality of village poultry
producers (Table 1).
The good news is that there is a growing awareness
amongst animal health providers of the importance of
developing culturally sensitive dialogue that will identify
appropriate options for HPAI prevention and control as
demonstrated in the Indonesia case study above. The dia-
logue takes into account people’s knowledge and under-
standing (1) of the origin and (2) transmission of the
disease from animals to animals, (3) transmission from
animals to humans, (4) from humans to humans, (5) their
priorities in terms of livelihood strategies, (6) the gender
dynamics of poultry raising activities, and (7) risk aware-
ness and reduction (Alders and Bagnol 2007). Combining
communication activities with PE activities can lead to a
symbiotic relationship that enables farmers and technicians
to better understand each other resulting in feasible and
sustainable disease prevention and control initiatives.
The HPAI N5N1 pandemic has impacted negatively on
village poultry in many countries but there have also been
some benefits as a result of improved understanding of the
different poultry production systems. The most significant
negative impacts included:
an adverse effect women as the primary producers of
village poultry;
increased food and nutrition insecurity at the household
and community levels in countries with endemic HPAI;
the culling of heterogeneous village poultry without
consideration for the impact on genetic diversity; and
the use of poorly adapted communication material that
resulted in a loss of credibility of technical recommen-
dations in the eyes of producers and traders.
Key knowledge gained through the implementation of
HPAI prevention and control programs in village poultry
an improved understanding of the drivers of human
behavior along the value chain and how better manage-
ment of these drivers could also contribute to improved
food security;
Impact of Avian Influenza on Village Poultry
changing the epidemiological unit from the backyard/
house to the village;
the importance of working with producers and traders
when designing and implementing HPAI prevention and
control programs; and
the symbiotic effect of combining communication
activities with PE tools.
HPAI H5N1 remains endemic in a number of countries
where the poultry sector is characterized by a high diversity
of production systems. Compared to the commercial
poultry industry, the family poultry sector has received
limited investment in research, extension, and finance.
However, the rearing of family poultry persists because it is
inherently low-input and extremely cost-efficient. The
development and introduction of economically feasible and
culturally acceptable interventions focusing on the factors
limiting productivity within the different production sys-
tems, and optimizing the efficiency of their associated value
chains, must be tailored according to country and local
conditions. It is likely that significant gains will be made in
these countries when the social and cultural aspects of
poultry production are addressed in harmony and coher-
ence with the technical disease control measures.
Poultry production has been an integral part of small
farms for centuries and will continue to be for the fore-
seeable future. As we seek to achieve food security and
safety, it is essential that we understand the people behind
the animals better. Unfortunately because of the short
timeframes of most HPAI control projects, there has not
always been adequate time given to completely under-
standing value chains and developing and trialing local and
culturally appropriate approaches. Understanding the hu-
man dimension of emerging infectious disease and taking a
broader systems approach will help in dealing with a dis-
ease like HPAI, which ultimately affects us all, including
smallholders, commercial companies, and consumers.
Table 1. Comments on two of the four key messages relating to the control of HPAI promoted by multi-lateral agencies in the early
stages of the response to the H5N1 pandemic (adapted from Alders 2006)
Message Comments
Report sick birds Given the need to ensure that birds infected with HPAI are handled safely, this was a sound
recommendation. In many cases it was not clear to whom or how farmers should report.
Even where a message is sent to the appropriate authorities, it may take days for a response
to be mounted. If farmers and communities are not adequately informed, they will continue
to eat and sell sick and dead birds and, by so doing, facilitate the spread of the disease
Farmers have seen their chickens dying every year of ND and were never asked to report.
In addition, even when their children or they themselves are sick they do not report and often
have difficulty accessing health services. This special request regarding the health of chickens
was seen as very awkward
Another complication was that compensation packages were rarely in place for farmers whose
birds were slaughtered as part of control packages. Therefore farmers rarely reported
a second time and other farmers learnt not to report at all
Separate types of birds and poultry The promotion of the confinement of village poultry without due attention to nutrition
and sanitation should be considered a temporary measure only. If birds are to be enclosed
for long periods they will need:
Access to clean water and feed that has an appropriate balance of protein, energy, vitamins,
and minerals (supplied by either commercial ration or from locally available feed);
To be kept in an environment that is frequently cleaned (with the removal of manure); and
Regular de-worming and vaccination against the common killer diseases
The benefit–cost of these measures should be made clear to farmers
The recommendation could have been adapted for village production systems by encouraging
farmers to provide separate overnight housing for each type of poultry and to house poultry
separately from pigs
R. Alders et al.
The authors would like to acknowledge the support given
to village poultry research and development by the
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
(ACIAR), the Australian Agency for International Devel-
opment (AusAID), the Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations (FAO), the International Livestock
Research Institute (ILRI), and the International Network
for Family Poultry Development (INFPD). Furthermore,
our gratitude is extended to the veterinarians, extension
specialists, researchers, traders, and farmers in many parts
of the world who have given freely of their time and
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... To date, H5N1 has affected the poultry industry in 68 countries, with over 15,000 outbreaks reported, and has become endemic in six countries (Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam;Alexander and Brown, 2009;Bui et al., 2016). Avian influenza has a particularly devastating impact in developing countries, where outbreaks have a huge social and economic impact on small and marginal poultry farmers (Rushton et al., 2005;Brown, 2010;Alders et al., 2014). In addition it has devastating impacts on wild bird populations and poses a serious conservation threat (Daszak et al., 2000), highlighted by recent widespread outbreaks in wild bird populations (at least 57 species) in Europe (EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), 2022) ...
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Introduction: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses, such as H5N1, continue to pose a serious threat to animal agriculture, wildlife and to public health. Controlling and mitigating this disease in domestic birds requires a better understanding of what makes some species highly susceptible (such as turkey and chicken) while others are highly resistant (such as pigeon and goose). Susceptibility to H5N1 varies both with species and strain; for example, species that are tolerant of most H5N1 strains, such as crows and ducks, have shown high mortality to emerging strains in recent years. Therefore, in this study we aimed to examine and compare the response of these six species, to low pathogenic avian influenza (H9N2) and two strains of H5N1 with differing virulence (clade 2.2 and clade to determine how susceptible and tolerant species respond to HPAI challenge. Methods: Birds were challenged in infection trials and samples (brain, ileum and lung) were collected at three time points post infection. The transcriptomic response of birds was examined using a comparative approach, revealing several important discoveries. Results: We found that susceptible birds had high viral loads and strong neuro-inflammatory response in the brain, which may explain the neurological symptoms and high mortality rates exhibited following H5N1 infection. We discovered differential regulation of genes associated with nerve function in the lung and ileum, with stronger differential regulation in resistant species. This has intriguing implications for the transmission of the virus to the central nervous system (CNS) and may also indicate neuro-immune involvement at the mucosal surfaces. Additionally, we identified delayed timing of the immune response in ducks and crows following infection with the more deadly H5N1 strain, which may account for the higher mortality in these species caused by this strain. Lastly, we identified candidate genes with potential roles in susceptibility/resistance which provide excellent targets for future research. Discussion: This study has helped elucidate the responses underlying susceptibility to H5N1 influenza in avian species, which will be critical in developing sustainable strategies for future control of HPAI in domestic poultry.
... Afrika Domuz Vebası salgını gibi modern hayvancılık endüstrisindeki sorunlar da alternatif proteinler için ek bir ivme sağlamaktadır. Diğer bir örnek ise ülkemizde de ortaya çıkan uluslararası kanatlı endüstrisi ve pazar paylarında kayıplara, arz kıtlığına, ticaret akışında aksamalara ve tüketici güveninin kaybolmasına neden olan kuş gribidir [33][34][35]. Sonuç olarak yalnızca vahşi hayvanlardan değil, aynı zamanda çiftlik hayvanlarından ortaya çıkabilecek herhangi bir zoonotik enfeksiyonun insan sağlığı için potansiyel risk oluşturduğu ve besi hayvanlarında öngörülemeyen salgınların küresel gıda güvenliğinde aksaklıklara neden olabileceği düşünülmektedir. ...
Dünya nüfusunda meydana gelen hızlı artış, mevcut gıda ihtiyacının günden güne artmasına neden olmaktadır. Hayvansal kaynaklı protein üretiminin zaman, enerji, maliyet ve çevre gibi faktörler üzerine olumsuz etkileri bulunabilmektedir. Dolayısıyla hızla artan küresel nüfusa yeterli gıda kaynağının sağlanması ve hayvansal bazlı protein üretimi süresince meydana gelebilecek söz konusu olumsuzlukların azaltılması gibi gereklilikler, geleneksel et ve et ürünleri gibi alışılagelmiş protein kaynaklarının alternatif içeriklerle değiştirilmesi yaklaşımını ortaya çıkarmıştır. Mikoproteinler tek hücre proteini olarak da bilinen mikrobiyal protein grubunda yer almakta; kısmen veya tamamen hayvansal bazlı proteinlerin yerini alabilmektedir. Aynı zamanda bunların üretiminde tarımsal endüstriyel atık maddelerinin substrat olarak kullanılabilmesi çevresel açıdan çok yönlü bir katkı sağlamaktadır. Mikoproteinler elzem amino asitler, karbonhidratlar ve vitaminler açısından zengin bir içeriğe sahiptir. Ayrıca toplam üretim maliyetinin düşük olması, sel ve kuraklık gibi iklimsel koşullardan ve alan sınırlamalarından bağımsız olarak üretilebilmesi gibi avantajları ile ön plana çıkmaktadır. Bu derlemede, mikoprotein üretimi için gerekli fermantasyon koşulları ve kullanılan substratlar, mikoproteinlerin besin değeri, mikoprotein ürünlerinin duyusal özellikleri ve tüketicilerce kabulü, mikoproteinlerin et ikamesi olarak formülasyonlarda kullanımı ve çevre, sağlık ve güvenlik faktörleri üzerine etkisi hakkında bilgi verilmiştir.
... Indoor production and confinement (83)(84)(85) Genetic homogenization (86,87) Subtherapeutic and growthpromoting antibiotic use (19,20,25,74,(88)(89)(90) Long-distance transportation (91,92) Physiological stress from crowding, confinement, and conflicts (e.g., gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages) (22,23,26,93) Temporary/seasonal and transient human labor (83,94) Concentrated animal wastes (88,95) Neutral or reduced risks Evidence of reduced land and resource needs ...
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Infectious diseases originating from animals (zoonotic diseases) have emerged following deforestation from agriculture. Agriculture can reduce its land use through intensification, i.e., improving resource use efficiency. However, intensive management often confines animals and their wastes, which also fosters disease emergence. Therefore, rising demand for animal-sourced foods creates a "trap" of zoonotic disease risks: extensive land use on one hand or intensive animal management on the other. Not all intensification poses disease risks; some methods avoid confinement and improve animal health. However, these "win-win" improvements alone cannot satisfy rising meat demand, particularly for chicken and pork. Intensive poultry and pig production entails greater antibiotic use, confinement, and animal populations than beef production. Shifting from beef to chicken consumption mitigates climate emissions, but this common strategy neglects zoonotic disease risks. Preventing zoonotic diseases requires international coordination to reduce the high demand for animal-sourced foods, improve forest conservation governance, and selectively intensify the lowest-producing ruminant animal systems without confinement.
... The authors built heuristics to determine relatively optimal solutions for large instances with a facility location and resource allocation network for food distribution. Furthermore, Alders et al. [41] have presented an overview of poultry production in rural areas, discussing how the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 pandemic has affected village poultry, their proprietors, and the merchants whose livelihoods are directly linked to these birds. The effects on food security, gender and culture, villages, biosecurity, village poultry value chains, marketing, genetic diversity, effective communication, poultry as part of livelihood plans, and other areas are also discussed. ...
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Recently, the food supply chain (FSC) has been severely disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the vital flow of food products from farmers and producers to the ultimate consumers at risk. Furthermore, due to the pandemic, several food organizations have been prompted to rethink their strategies for the future. Although the literature on FSC research in the COVID-19 era is increasing, no attempt has been made to summarize this stream of research using bibliometric techniques. This paper fills this knowledge gap and looks at the current scholarly discourse around the FSC and COVID-19. Applying bibliometric techniques, 287 journal articles were extracted from Scopus and analyzed to determine the temporal evolution of FSC research, the most productive journals, researchers, countries, and the most relevant keywords and publications. To construct a keyword co-occurrence network and categorize the relevant literature, we used the computer program VOSviewer. The findings demonstrate the rapid expansion of FSC research during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the top authors, publications, and nations for scientific output were also determined. Keyword co-occurrence network and detailed qualitative analysis both illustrate that FSC research revolves around six main themes: the impact of COVID-19 on the FSC and agriculture, FSC resilience, food waste and insecurity, fisheries and aquaculture, blockchain technology, and governance and innovation. This study represents the first effort to map worldwide FSC research in the COVID-19 era and draw on a comprehensive collection of journal articles and bibliometric approaches. It offers academics, practitioners, and decision-makers a snapshot of the state of the art in the FSC field and points to where further research is needed.
... In our case, HPAI occurred in commercial poultry and resulted in a regional quarantine which prevented further placement of Table 3. Production data collected from the 10 farmers who built coops and were provided with chicks chicks. This demonstrates the reality that infectious diseases can spread to all poultry (village and conventional) and result in quarantine and other consequences (e.g., trade embargo and depopulation) for unaffected poultry in different production systems poultry (Alders et al., 2014). With respect to productivity, our results were largely consistent with prior literature. ...
Full-text available
Farmers in Nepal face many of the same global challenges associated with initiating and scaling poultry husbandry as many other developing countries. These include, access to innovative approaches in finance, credit, coop design, marketing and sales. As with most low-income countries, Nepalese poultry farmers also lack adequate training in poultry husbandry including biosecurity. In this paper, we describe a collaborative workshop-subsidy approach to addressing these challenges conducted by a partnership with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Engineering, the School of Education and a farming co-operative based in the semi-rural area of Bhaktapur, Nepal. The program included two workshops covering aspects of poultry rearing including coop construction, chick rearing, biosecurity and husbandry. Both workshops were a combination of lectures and hands-on learning. Following completion of the workshops, each farmer received subsidized materials for coop construction and poultry rearing. The co-operative provided training facilities and a market for selling eggs. Despite an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), which affected the scale of program implementation, our results suggest that the workshop subsidy collaborative approach can be successful in reducing market entry barriers. Our 6-month post-workshop survey showed that two-thirds of the workshop participants ultimately built their own coop and raised chicks. Half of these participants reported market available egg production and a doubling of egg consumption at home.
... To the best of our knowledge, nothing is known about the role of MHC genetic variability in this phenomenon. Epidemiological evidence indicates that HPAIVs arise mainly in intensively farmed birds (Alders et al., 2014), raising the possibility that low diversity of MHC class I may play a role in this phenomenon. However, at least in one instance, HPAIVs may have arisen from wild swans in Iran (Gilsdorf et al., 2006). ...
Full-text available
Every year commercial poultry operations produce and crowd billions of birds, a source of inexpensive animal protein. Commercial poultry is intensely bred for desirable production traits, and currently presents very low variability at the Major Histocompatibility Complex. This situation dampens the advantages conferred by the MHC’s high genetic variability, and crowding generates immunosuppressive stress. We address the proteins of influenza A viruses directly and indirectly involved in host specificities. We discuss how mutants with increased virulence and/or altered host specificity may arise if few class I alleles are the sole selective pressure on avian viruses circulating in immunocompromised poultry. This hypothesis is testable with peptidomics of MHC ligands. Breeding strategies for commercial poultry can easily and inexpensively include high variability of MHC as a trait of interest, to help avoid the billions of dollars in disease burden caused by influenza and decrease the risk of selecting highly virulent strains.
... The impacts include cultural issues, village poultry value chains, approaches to biosecurity, marketing, poultry disease prevention, and control compensation, genetic diversity, poultry as part of livelihood strategies, and effective communication. The first step towards HPAI prevention and control is increasing awareness that poultry health and welfare is vital (Alders et al., 2014). Accordingly, it takes a collaborative measure from multiple stakeholders and the government to increase farmers' level of knowledge on animal health and welfare. ...
Full-text available
Smallholder native chicken farming continues to face challenges that include simple farming management as well as ND and AI diseases that lead to decreased productivity and increased mortality rate. The aim of the study was to develop a strategy to reduce the mortality rate of native chickens in extensive and semi-intensive rearing systems. This study uses survey method with 78 extensive and 88 semi-intensive native chicken farmers as respondent. This study explores the disease incidence, illness treatment, mortality rate, as well as AI and ND antibody titers which then analyzed descriptively. System dynamic model using Ventana software (VENSIM) was used to identify the contributing factors to the mortality rate of native chicken in smallholder farming. The results showed that the common diseases among native chickens reared in semi-intensive and extensive farming are AI, ND, CRD, and pullorum, with a high rate of disease-specific mortality (>5%). Compared to native chickens in semi-intensive farming, those of in extensive farming showed a higher natural immunity against AI and ND. The qualitative modeling produced seven reinforcing loops and five balancing loops. Some challenges in developing native chicken farming were disease incidence due to lack of proper land and cage, the occurrence of selling unhealthy chickens, farmers opting out for poultry vaccination, high operational cost, lack of business motivation, limited knowledge on poultry management and health, lack of extension programs, and traditional management. We concluded that the rate of disease-specific mortality (ND and AI) remained high in native chickens reared both in extensive and semi-intensive farming. It takes an effort to improve farming management, vaccination, and the government’s contribution through extension programs to decrease disease incidence and mortality rate of native chickens.
... Disease and mortality of birds remain important production and productivity constraints, especially in farms that adopt multispecies poultry production ( Moreover, Vietnam is one of the developing countries affected by HPAI (Delabouglise et al. 2020;Hoang et al. 2020). HPAI has posed major poultry production, marketing and consumption risks in the country Burgos et al. 2008;Alders et al. 2014;Figué and Desvaux 2015). Like producers in other developing countries, smallholder producers in Vietnam have limited disease prevention and treatment practices (Thang et al. 2010b). ...
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We present a review of literature on the overview of the poultry sector in Vietnam. The review highlights main findings on poultry production and consumption trends, smallholder chicken production and productivity, and marketing of poultry products. It also summarizes the contribution of smallholder poultry production to household nutrition, the role of smallholder poultry production to household's livelihood, the status of agricultural policy and livestock research in the country, and finally, a conclusion and research opportunities. Findings of the review show that the smallholder poultry production system has lower production and productivity due to the dominance of the country's low-input-low-output indigenous breed-based production system. The productivity and competitiveness of smallholder poultry production can be enhanced through improved genetics, better management systems, and the integration of producers with better input and output markets. Approaches to improve genetic potential may include building local capacity in breed selection and management and introducing high-yielding, farmer preferred, and locally adapted improved breeds. This requires comprehensive research and development efforts in breed identification and testing, evaluating farmers' preferences, and establishing sustainable delivery systems for chicks and other inputs. Moreover, innovations that improve health services delivery systems, such as vaccination and medication supply chains and sustained supply of locally available feeds, will make significant contributions.
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Around 3 billion people were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2019 because of poverty and inequlaity. Most of these people live in Asia and Africa. Furthermore, 30% of world population was affected by moderate to severe food insecurity in 2020, and most of this population lives in low- and middle-income countries. The world is at critical juncture and there is urgent need of transformative food systems that ensure empowerment of poor and vulnerable population groups, often smallholders with limited access to resources or those living in remote locations, as well as the empowerment of women, children and youth. Backyard poultry production system (BPPS), as practiced by 80% of the world’s rural population, can be that transformative change in low- and middle-income countries. Although, BPPS is having low productivity, but still plays an important role in food and nutritional security of rural people living in fragile ecosystems. In some countries, backyard poultry constitute almost 50 to 80% of total poultry population. Backyard poultry has been recognized as a tool for poverty alleviation, women empowerment besides ensuring food and nutritional security of rural poor. The poultry meat and eggs are the cheapest and best source of good quality protein, minerals and vitamins. The introduction of improved backyard poultry germplasm has improved the productivity of this system in poor resource setting and thereby improved the income and nutritional security of poor households. With these birds, the availability, access, utilization and stability of food security has improved at household as well as at national level. Diseases, predation, non-availability of improved germplasm, lack of access to markets and lack of skills are the major constraints for adoption of improved backyard poultry. These constraints can be addressed by involving network of community animal service providers. The improved backyard poultry germplasm will dominate the backyard poultry production system in future and will be a tool for ensuring food and nutritional security on sustainable basis more particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Previous studies and efforts to prevent and to manage avian influenza (AI) outbreaks have mainly focused on the wintering season. However, outbreaks of AI have been reported in the summer, including the breeding season of waterfowl. Additionally, the spatial distribution of waterfowl can easily change during the annual cycle due to their life‐cycle traits and the presence of both migrants and residents in the population. Thus, we assessed the spatiotemporal variation in AI exposure risk in poultry due to spatial distribution changes in three duck species included in both major residents and wintering migrants in South Korea, the mandarin, mallard, and spot‐billed duck, during wintering (October‐March), breeding (April‐June), and whole annual seasons. To estimate seasonal ecological niche variations among the three duck species, we applied pairwise ecological niche analysis using the Pianka index. Subsequently, seasonal distribution models were projected by overlaying the monthly ranges estimated by the maximum entropy model. Finally, we overlaid each seasonal distribution range onto a poultry distribution map of South Korea. We found that the mandarin had less niche overlap with the mallard and spot‐billed duck during the wintering season than during the breeding season, whereas the mallard had less niche overlap with the mandarin and spot‐billed duck during the breeding season than during the wintering season. Breeding and annual distribution ranges of the mandarin and spot‐billed duck, but not the mallard, were similar or even wider than their wintering ranges. Similarly, the mandarin and spot‐billed duck showed more extensive overlap proportions between poultry and their distributional ranges during both breeding and annual seasons than during wintering season. These results suggest that potential AI exposure in poultry can occur more widely in the summer than in winter, depending on sympatry with the host duck species. Future studies considering their population density and variable pathogenicity of avian influenza are required. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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Village chickens can be found in all developing countries and play a vital role in many poor rural households. For instance, they provide scarce animal protein in the form of meat and eggs and can be sold or bartered to meet essential family needs such as medicine, clothes and school fees. Village chickens are active in pest control, provide manure, are required for special festivals and are essential for many traditional ceremonies. The chickens are usually raised under extensive, low input production systems (Table 1). They are generally owned and managed by women and children and are often essential elements of female-headed households. Water Well water, used water, natural sources Clean water supply essential Production Low; could improve with better nutrition, disease control and shelter from predators High; but require a high level of inputs Meat quality Little fat; pleasant flavour; preferred texture More fat; less flavour; poorer texture Adaptability Good: good flight skills, more likely to escape predators, can scavenge for own food Limited: poor flight skills, easily caught by predators, less skilled at scavenging Veterinary inputs None; ND vaccination Control of many viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases essential for efficient production Environmental impact Minimal: can be positive through provision of organic fertilizer and pest control Negative: intensive production of cereals for rations; occasional improper use of antibiotics, excess ammonia production.
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The impact of avian influenza (AI) on Thai indigenous chicken genetic resources following the outbreak of the disease in 2004 forms the main objective of this review. A survey was performed on 482 households from 27 villages in seven sub-districts. A total of 482 households representing the North, Northeast and central regions of Thailand were extensively interviewed. All villages had incidents of AI outbreak and chicken depopulation, according to government records. After the AI outbreak, most parental restocking of indigenous chickens in the Northeast and North was from local or home-grown areas, while restocking in the central region was from various external sources. The result found that approximately 45% of those interviewed decreased the number of chickens reared, 40% restocked chickens back to the original number, 15% increased the number of chickens reared, and a few stopped rearing altogether. Thai indigenous chicken strains are traditionally classified by feather colour: black, yellow, red, grey, striped, green, straw, bronze and white. A total of 679 mature and 387 young roosters were photographed and classified by feather colour, shank colour, and comb types. It was found that the AI outbreak had an impact on the genetic resources of Thai indigenous chickens. The percentage of the black-feathered strain, which is mainly found in the North and Northeast, is now in decline. The yellow-feathered strain, which is mainly found in the central region, has also noticeably decreased. On the other hand, mixed strains started to increase. Consequently, the original indigenous genetics tended to represent less and less of the total population, while mixed strains continually increased. This study revealed that the AI outbreak had an impact on genetic diversity of Thai indigenous chickens of Thailand.
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Efforts to eliminate avian influenza are imbued with viral panic and are anchored to the 1918 influenza pandemic, SARS, and bioterrorism. The small number of human HPAI deaths has been given enormous significance but less attention is paid to impacts of containment policies on food security, nutrition, or subsistence among small-scale farmers. In Vietnam, the livelihoods of the rural poor are supplemented by household poultry. Government policies to eliminate backyard operations remove a hedge against economic security, undermine the symbolic and cultural importance of poultry, and rupture relationships between buyers and sellers. Rural farmers face the triple burden of stigma for creating conditions that promote bird flu, destruction of their flocks, and the risk of living at an epicenter.
Conference Paper
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Historically human behaviour in relation to the domestication and production of animal species has been a major driving force behind the emergence of disease. Throughout the course of time diseases have tended to emerge and maintain themselves in centres where human and animal density is high or where human activities encroach on naive environments. Intensive animal production systems have grown rapidly since the mid 1800s and now dominate our main livestock food systems. They have contributed to the emergence, spread and maintenance of new disease agents through increased interaction and movement of animal and people.
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The spectre of widespread food insecurity has become a global issue with the human population reaching 7 billion in 2012, increasing environmental degradation including loss of soil fertility and extreme weather events impacting on food production. Increased production of poultry, both commercial and family, is a vital contribution to food security at both the household and community levels. The paper reviews the long history shared by people and poultry and looks at the challenges to and opportunities for achieving ecologically sustainable small-scale family poultry production. Key issues discussed include: enhancing food security and safety through improved poultry disease surveillance, prevention and control; improving linkages between poultry producers and animal health services; involving multidisciplinary and gender sensitive teams in problem solving; minimising waste through composting; improving producer education; improving the quality of educational curricula relating to family poultry production; and improving information sharing using digital technologies. Many commentators are suggesting that the world is on a precipice as we face both environmental and financial global crises. Family poultry production brings people together across many divides and links us to the natural world in a very positive and unassuming manner. While cost-efficient and ecologically-sustainable small-scale poultry production may not hold the answers to all of the problems, it does provide both producers and consumers with an options that are low-cost and relatively carbon-neutral.
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Throughout the continent of Africa the keeping of indigenous fowl by village communities has been practised for many generations. These birds, which are generally kept on a free range system, currently make up more than 80% of the continent's poultry flock. Although requiring minimal resource input and considered secondary to other agricultural activities by farmers, this type of production has an important role in supplying local populations with additional income and high quality protein. However, high mortality, especially in growers, constitutes the greatest constraint on development. Indigenous fowl are not a particular variety but are the result of erratic crosses between local and imported stocks. Growth and egg production of the indigenous birds are low and their limits of performance are rapidly reached when feeding and management are improved. However, the meat and eggs are much preferred by the consumers and fetch premium prices compared with commercial birds. The genetic potential of the indigenous stocks could be improved through crossing with selected but still robust varieties.
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1. Summary Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Type A H5N1 subtype is a viral zoonotic disease that has infected and killed birds and humans in SE Asia, Africa and Europe since late 2003. In 2006, a total of 47 countries reported HPAI outbreaks: 24 in Europe, 15 in Asia and 8 in Africa. From November 2003 to July 25, 2007 there have been a total of 319 confirmed cases in humans resulting in 192 deaths (60.2 percent mortality rate). National governments and international agencies are intensively studying measures to control disease spread, and among these, a restructuring of the poultry industry in a way, which threatens livelihoods of smallholder poultry producers. Unsubstantiated and reactive governmental measures against this disease can prove detrimental to the contribution of poultry farming to family livelihoods and national food security, be it either directly through loss of income-generating poultry outputs or indirectly through disincentives against traditional backyard farming, and in favour of intensive commercial production systems. These livestock policy decisions are framed under the assumption that commercially-oriented, mechanized, intensive farming with high stocking densities, high turnover and high investments are more biosecure, yet this has not been fully supported scientifically. Inclusive evidence-based policies to combat avian influenza need to consider these socio- economic issues to promote diversity, avoid disruptions, and soften social transitions. This report aims to briefly review Viet Nam's poultry sectors and comment on governmental policy approaches in response to HPAI outbreaks. Additionally, it elaborates further on the challenges and opportunities now faced by smallholding poultry producers, particularly after the HPAI crisis and policy implementations.
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It has long been thought that pigeons are resistant against H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses. Recently, however, highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses have demonstrated distinct biological properties that may be capable of causing dis-ease in pigeons. To examine the susceptibility of domestic pigeons to recent H5N1 viruses, we inoculated pigeons using H5N1 viruses isolated in China from 2002 to 2004. Within 21 days following inoculation, all pigeons had survived and fully recovered from temporary clinical signs. However, seroconversion assays demonstrated that several viruses did in fact establish infection in pigeons and caused a certain amount of viral shedding in the oropharynx and cloaca. There was not, however, a definitive relationship between viral shedding and viral origin. Viruses were also inconsistently isolated from various organs of pigeons in infected groups. Pathological examination revealed that the infection had started as respiratory inflammation and caused the most severe lesions in the brain in later stages. These results indicate that pigeons are susceptible to the more recent Asian H5N1 HPAI and could be a source of infection to other animals, including humans.
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Village poultry make a significant contribution to poverty alleviation and household food security in many developing countries. This contribution by village poultry to livelihoods can also support HIV/AIDS mitigation and wildlife conservation initiatives. Appropriate interventions focussing on the factors limiting productivity of the different production systems must be tailored according to country and local conditions. The contrast between the type of support in relation to the production systems that might be promoted in export-oriented countries such as Thailand, in comparison to others such as Mozambique and Lao PDR is discussed. A review of the benefits and costs of inputs comparing small scale commercial poultry and scavenging village poultry production systems in different countries taking into account the bio-risks for each production system demonstrates the overall efficiency of the village production system and provides an insight into why this system has continued to thrive into the 21st century.
In tropical and developing countries (TDCs) poultry and eggs are among the most easily produced forms of animal protein for the human diet. While Newcastle disease (ND) occurs globally (1,2), its impact in terms of morbidity and mortality among chickens, the economic cost to the community, and the resulting reduction in available animal protein for human consumption, is greatest in certain TDCs.