CRC projects provide insights into Fowl Cholera, litter reuse and poultry welfare

Poultry CRC research continues to produce significant outcomes for industry, including valuable insights into the genes influencing the virulence of Pasteurella multocida, which causes Fowl cholera (or pasteurellosis). Information gained from a completed CRC project that identified a number of genes which appear to be necessary for the establishment, growth, or reproduction of P. multocida within its bird hosts has been passed on to The University of Melbourne’s Peter Scott, who is completing the work necessary for the registration of the live vaccine, PMP1.

A project looking at litter reuse across broiler cycles undertaken by DPI&F Queensland has helped form the basis for a possible code of practice for the management of piles across litter pile-up cycles. Project Leader, Nalini Chinivasagam, conducted on-farm studies, demonstrating that the current practice of litter piling is an effective means of reducing the level of both Salmonella and Campylobacter. The project showed that litter can be re-used across chicken cycles without any build up of food-safety pathogens. Nalini is preparing a publication for submission to a peer reviewed journal on “pathogen die-off in litter via the pile-up process”.

Establishing an evidence-based methodology for welfare remains a challenging goal, but CRC researchers at The University of Melbourne haven’t let that stop them from making headway. The project, Improving the scientific assessment of poultry welfare, compared biological functioning and animal preferences. While the analyses in the final experiment are presently incomplete, it is clear that further research is necessary to comprehensively test the underlying hypotheses.

A project with the aim of increasing the implementation of animal welfare standards for the meat chicken industry has been completed, having achieved its intended outcome of providing 85% of the Australian chicken meat industry with the capability to implement the standards derived from the Welfare Audit for the Chicken Meat Industry, an earlier RIRDC project. The Poultry CRC, having completed the delivery of training to chicken meat companies and growers, has handed over implementation to industry.

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