Dear forum members..I'd like to share with you Dr. Salman's comments about Dr. Mithaq's paper and my translation...his comments are underlined and marked as MDS from 1-12.
Poultry Industry – Current Situation in Iraq
By Dr. Mithaq Abdul-Hussein
The current poultry industry in Iraq differs from other animal production systems for several reasons:
1. Poultry production is relatively short production cycle with large volume of turnover animals to the market.
2. Limited use of production lands relative to the number of produced animals.
3. The industry utilize modern equipment for production.
4. The timeline for marketing is too short.
5. The production is sensitive to its environment eg. moisture, ventilation, and temperature.
6. Poultry must be raised in special environment. [MDS1]
Due to the following factors, the production period and money investment cycle are short:
· The high metabolic rate due to the improvement of the production genes causes chronic disorders in blood circulation because of the increased body temperature of the bird and the lack of temperature exchange with the ambient environment. [MDS2] Therefore, animals would be facing blood clotting problem and this leads to sudden death at increased numbers if the weather temperatures range is (35-40˚C) or (95-104˚F). [MDS3] The increased temperature problem also leads to the increased sensitivity in mycotoxins present in feed enhanced by the effective absorption property of the digestive system of birds which may lead to increase the accumulation of these toxins in their body compared to other domestic animals. [MDS4]
· Poultry respiratory system physiology makes birds vulnerable to respiratory infections which lead to deaths. [MDS5]
· The fast growth rate of the birds makes the immune system relatively venerable and unable to produce cellular immunity. Thus the system relays on the acquired immunity produced by continuous vaccination, especially in broilers.
· The occurrence of mutations due to genetic improved production breeds that may cause cancers, deformities, atrophies and sudden death.
Producers, therefore, take into consideration all the above reasons in attempt to mitigate their negative effect on the industry. There are some areas that are considered as solutions provided by poultry producers:
· Poultry housing: the building where birds are raised should be isolated completely from the outside environment. This will make the temperature, moisture and ventilation control easier.
· Vaccines and vaccination: vaccines that are used should be scientifically selected based upon the breed and endemic diseases in the country. Routine follow up to measure the level of antibodies is required before starting a new vaccination activity. In addition, vaccines must be obtained from reliable sources to prevent the exposure of the disease that animals are vaccinating against.
· Chicks or breeders: must be obtained with a good genetic to produce good quality of birds and as a result, good products.
· Machinery: new equipment and utensils should be provided in poultry houses such as feeders and waterers, air conditions, and heaters.
· Use close housing: all in-all out. And the activities inside the facility will be monitored by computers.
· Hygiene programs and supervision: monitoring activities in poultry houses should be based on science and expertise. [MDS6]
The current situation in Iraq regarding poultry producing cannot be called poultry industry. In fact, it is better called irregular poultry production. Also, poultry business is somewhat risky and the loss percent is more than 70%. I’d like to summarize the situation of poultry industry in Iraq by the following:[MDS7]
1. Ninety five percent of poultry houses are not technically suitable for production and are not licensed.
2. The use of hybrids and birds with no good genetic properties leads to several problems in the produced birds such as stunting or sudden death due to the presence of the so-called “fatal gene”.
3. Improper selection of poultry feed in terms of quality and quantity. Also, some feed is obtained from unapproved suppliers. There is no analysis to determine the level of pesticide residue. The presence of mycotoxins is an expected phenomenon due to the improper storage conditions of the feed and the presence of fungi in the feed producing factories. The addition of vegetable oils to the feed accelerates the spoilage and leads to rancidity of the feed. Consequently, this leads to feed poisoning and indigestion in the birds.
4. The adoption of traditional vaccination protocol without measuring the level of antibodies leads to the decline of antibody produced and the immunity response to infection. Additional unnecessary doses of vaccines stresses the immune system of the bird, especially the administration is not well regulated and monitored.
5. There are no regulations or laws established to monitor and regulate the industry and there is lack of awareness by poultry producers. This leads to economic losses.
6. There is no policy or compensation systems employed to help the veterinary services and producers to deal with infectious, epidemic, and emerging diseases.
7. Most devastating diseases of interest in poultry production are endemic such as Newcastle, gumboro (IBDV), and infectious bronchitis.
8. Up to this point, nobody knows if the poultry industry in Iraq belongs to the general or private sector. The process of production is a mess. There is an obvious lack of cooperation between producers and veterinarians. [MDS8]
9. The poultry industry as mentioned earlier differs from other industries like large animal industry where the latter can be developed horizontally i.e. (owners and animals). The poultry industry should be developed both vertically and horizontally because horizontal system caused problems previously.
10. Iraq is lacking of hygiene slaughter plants and waste management systems.
11. Live bird trade and transportation from one governorate to the other makes the process of controlling epidemic diseases difficult.
[MDS9] In conclusion, the poultry industry in Iraq needs to be rebuilt in the near future. The country needs this section to be vital. This will help provide self-sufficiency and improves the economy and food security.
Dr. Mohannad Alwaily:
Dr. Mithaq, I thank you for providing us with this important subject, and please allow me to add few points: while I do agree with you that the poultry industry in Iraq has an important role in terms of economy and social life, there are several solutions can be adopted to improve this industry:
· Establish a committee that set up a strategy to regulate [MDS10] the production and the marketing processes for poultry.
· Establish aproduction map to determine poultry disease and control programs.
· Establish best communication among ministries and veterinary services
· Establish diagnostic veterinary laboratories or enhance (?) the existed ones.
· Adopt restrict rules for biosecurity programs?
· Establish scientifically sound comprehensive surveillance system for poultry diseases.
· Regulate the process of medicine and vaccine dispensing. Feed and supplements should also be regulated by quality control programs.
· Establish routine training courses for veterinarians and workers in this important sector.
· Provide necessary equipment for hatching and monitor continuously.
Finally, this sector needs to be overseen by experts to determine ways to improve it. Regards.
Dr. Jamal Sabbar,
Dr. Mithaq thanks for the topic. Poultry products do provide good protein content in our diet and poultry industry is developed mainly by veterinarians. The imported poultry products might be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Meat from chicken were raised using growth promoting hormones may also be dangerous for consumers due to the severe consequences like hormone irregularity in females. In the 1980’s there was a law that states an agreement between a producer and a veterinarian for what????. This veterinarian should be licensed and responsible of the poultry farm management. But the mess started when other officers who are not veterinarians became responsible for and be in charge of the farm and with no official regulation.[MDS11] Unfortunately, the role of a veterinarian because marginal afterwards. [MDS12] Greetings.
Dr. Aziz Malallah,
Dear Dr. Mithaq,
The poultry industry in Iraq started in the 1980’s. The negotiation over establishing this industry was huge. Some investors were in favor of importation, especially from Brazil, and some local producers wanted to enhance the Iraqi poultry industry. The importers stated that a chicken would cost only $1, , and this is very affordable besides, importation will reduce pollution. Those who were in favor of local production of poultry were able to convince the government to establish local industry because of the many benefits such as providing employment for vets and agricultural employees. Unfortunately, the implementation of the project did not go well and people who were in charge of the project were irresponsible. Nonetheless, the government by then was able to control the situation. I recall a conference was held in Babel hotel and several international companies like Bayer, Intervet, and VAPCO were invited. I found out that the Iraqi poultry industry did not suffer outbreaks from diseases such as gumboro compared to other countries like Jordan who had problems with this disease and the economic loss was 70%. In short, I think the proper investment of money given to start a project is the key solution. The industry contents should be all involved starting from the hatchery all the way to the slaughter house. Feed should be produced locally too. This will provide adequate amount of poultry products in the Iraqi market and help protect consumers from consuming unhealthy imported products. Regards.
[MDS1]This is repeated from above.
[MDS2]I do not understand this sentence and its relation to the production period and investment!!.
[MDS3]This is not correct and it is already mentioned above that the birds are sensitive to the environment so I do not see the value from repeating it.
[MDS4]This is so much details and I do not think it is appropriate unless if further details are given about the potential contamination with mycotoxin of the feed. This is not only related to the temp but for feed quality and other issues.
[MDS5]Again this already addressed above under the sensitivity to the environment. The physiology has nothing to do with this; rather it is part of the avian entire system.
[MDS6]Nothing is mentioned about the quality of feed in these recommendations.
[MDS7]This is a general phenomena in most of developing countries in the world due to low and efficient poultry production in selected countries such as Brazil. This is not unique for Iraq. It is mainly an economic issue.
[MDS8]I cannot follow up on this point!!!
[MDS9]Hanaa I do not see the value from repeating the same points again and again. The document should be precise and on the point.
[MDS10]I do not think you need regulations at this point; rather you need to coordinate. There is the Iraqi Poultry Producers Association which is supported by several grants. They are relatively speaking better organized than all other livestock production and this Association should be involved in this effort.
[MDS11]You do not need vets to run a poultry farm. We should start to be realistic in accepting the fact that vets cannot do all.
[MDS12]Because the profession is not advancing.