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July Chicken and Eggs Report, AI Update

The poultry industry has seen a decline in total egg production year-to-date, compared with 2014. A July USDA Chicken and Eggs report indicates that total egg production in the U.S. is 10% lower, and layers are down 9% compared to July of last year.

Birds, states affected
Since December 2014, over 48 million birds have been affected by avian influenza (AI). The disease has been detected in 21 states, and positive cases included 211 commercial operations in the U.S.

The cost of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak to the poultry industry is high. The value of turkey and laying hen losses is estimated at nearly $1.6 billion, and economy-wide losses are estimated at $3.3 billion, according to a July report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

The CRS July update goes on to say, “Since the HPAI outbreak in December 2014, 18 U.S. trading partners have imposed bans on all shipments of U.S. poultry and products, and 38 trading partners have imposed partial, or regional, bans on shipments from states or parts of states with HPAI cases. China, Russia, and South Korea, three of the top 10 destinations for U.S. poultry meat in 2014, have banned all imports of U.S. poultry.”

Fall, winter outbreak
The last AI detection reported was June 17, 2015, but experts are predicting another potential outbreak this fall or winter as birds migrate south.

According to the CRS report, a vaccine is being developed by the USDA, and APHIS is administering biosecurity measures to manage any future outbreak. Click here for the latest response information from the USDA and a biosecurity checklist. 

July USDA Chicken and Eggs report
Compared to last year, total egg production in the U.S. is down by 10% for July 2015, and layers are down 9%, according to a USDA report released on August 21.

Reported total U.S. egg production for July 2015 is 7.67 billion eggs. That includes 6.53 billion table eggs and 1.14 billion hatching eggs. Broiler-type eggs made up 1.06 billion eggs of total production, and 83 million were egg-type.

The 329 layers reported on August 1, 2015, were made up of 271 producing table or market-type eggs, 54.6 million producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 3.3 million producing egg-type hatching eggs.

Egg-type chicks hatched during July 2015 increased by 1% from July 2014, for a total of 42.6 million. Broiler-type chicks also increased during July 2015, adding up to 805 million, 2% higher than July 2014.

Details of the disease
Avian influenza is a virus that can affect chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl, in addition to other birds. There are two types of AI that exist in the virus classification, and its ability of the virus to produce disease. Low pathogenic (LPAI) H5N1 is of less concern, and highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5N1, also known as “Asian” H5N1, is fatal in chickens and turkeys and spreads rapidly. Click here for more facts on avian influenza.

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