Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Poultry production in the Netherlands has to change

22.07.2003


Poultry production in the Netherlands has to change for a prosperous future. This is a mutual task of poultry producers, consumers, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and knowledge institutions. The outbreak of avian influenza in the beginning of 2003 in the centre of the Netherlands made the urgency of change quite clear. This is the outcome of an investigation by researchers of Wageningen University and Research Centre. In a report (in dutch) they provide building blocks to facilitate discussions and actions to be taken.

Dutch poultry production is internationally orientated. About 70 per cent of the production is as yet exported. The size of Dutch poultry production in the future is an outcome of the changes that can be arranged. Geographically, the Netherlands is very well located in an area with about 150 million prosperous consumers. Paris, London, Berlin are all within 500 km. Production for the world market is not cost-effective because of relative high costs of labour and other production factors. On the other hand, consumers in North Western part of Europe have more and more specific demands with regard to food quality and production methods (e.g. an animal and environmental friendly husbandry), but are as yet not ready to pay the costs of these demands.

Dutch poultry production, both eggs and meat, has a future in this part of Europe, mainly in fresh products provided that



- Food safety is guaranteed and full transparency of the production process up to the consumer is warranted

- Both product development and innovation continue

- Producers adapt to trends (like convenience food)

- New production methods and concepts fit in corporate governance

New structures in poultry have to be developed to replace the dutch ‘poldermodel’ which is too much based on consensus and collective structures. Chain reversal, individual entrepreneurship, chain concepts and cooperation in the production chain are key issues.

National and EU rules and laws for animal production should be qualitative and aimed at goals to be reached, not prescribe the animal producers specific methods.

Contact structures

Direct and indirect contacts between poultry farms are the main risk for outbreak of infectious diseases. The high concentration of farms and animals in the Netherlands as such is not a factor in the chance of outbreak on an individual farm. However, the high density does increase the effects of an outbreak enormously, as well in terms of further spreading of the disease as in terms of costs.

Strict rules and directions for contact structures that are followed by all involved, in stead of more rules, is the most effective way to control the effects of a disease outbreak.

ICT-based systems that give immediate and accurate information on all professional contacts of farms, transport vehicles and persons involved, are technically possible and factual required in whatever poultry production the Netherlands will have in future.

Theoretically, concentration of agro-production chains to different specific regions is a good concept to reduce the effects of disease outbreaks and might have advantages in relation to logistics and use of space (which is limited in the Netherlands). However, the free market, family farm structure, the investments required and the attitude of the general public make this development in the near future unlikely.

Farming systems and resistance of animals

Avian influenza does not distinguish between poultry in battery housing or free range systems, nor between modern highly productive chickens or chickens of old breeds or kept for their plumage and colour. Free range systems have a higher risk of contact between poultry and wild birds. In this respect the free range systems have a higher risk for introduction of diseases (those related to food safety included). Measures aimed at improving animal welfare through more natural housing systems have to be balanced against the increased hygienic risks. (International) consumer and animal welfare organisations should play an important role in decisions on this balance.

Vaccination and control of infection

Reconsidering the non-vaccination policy in the EU is urgent and has also a rationale in the technological developments in marker vaccines. The least that should be considered is a vaccination policy for zoo and hobby/companion animals and rare species and breeds. Stamping out measures for these categories of animals are not socially accepted any more. A full proof identification and registration system is then required for these animals.

Effective monitoring and early warning systems can reduce the effects of an outbreak of an infectious disease to a great extent. Such systems are as yet not in place.

Consequences of a disease outbreak

The current EU and dutch system of compensation at an outbreak shows contradictions between individual and collective interest. Insurance systems that combine public and private components could solve this problem and stimulate desired behaviour of individual entrepreneurs. In such a system, risk taking behaviour of farmers or other institutions involved in poultry production should direct be reflected in the costs of insurance of such farmers or institutions and in the payments in case of damage due to disease outbreak.

In the Netherlands there are approximately 4000 poultry farms for eggs and meat production, with about one hundred million animals. The annual egg production is more then ten billion, while the meat production is about 900.000 tons.

Jac Niessen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.wau.nl/pers/03/038ewur.html

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Researchers discover natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
16.07.2018 | UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

nachricht Advance warning system via cell phone app: Avoiding extreme weather damage in agriculture
12.07.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>