PoultryUSA - September 2017 - 29
EXCELLENT CARE PROMOTES BIRD HEALTH AND
also matters to them how their food impacts the environment.
Health and welfare are further championed by the care and
respect shown to the birds. Everyone who comes in contact
with the Aviagen birds is thoroughly trained in providing the
best care for them. To ensure good welfare and compliance,
Aviagen has developed and implemented a welfare assurance
system with internal and external audits. The external audits
are certified by an accredited independent organization.
Additionally, Aviagen's biosecure feed is specially formulated to
meet the birds' nutritional needs and their living environments
are controlled to optimize bird health and comfort.
STRICT BIOSECURITY PROTECTS FOOD SAFETY
At Aviagen, extensive resources are committed to protecting
flocks from outside pathogen. All Aviagen facilities follow
intense biosecurity guidelines.
Countries may use compartmentalization to define and
maintain certain animal subpopulations or "compartments"
that have been approved to have a distinct health status and
common biosecurity program (Lindsey, 2017).
Thus, in the event of a disease outbreak within a specific
area, compartmentalization is a way to expedite stock
export from approved facilities. By effectively applying
the compartmentalization concept, Aviagen ensures that a
safe supply of healthy poultry is available in the U.S. and
worldwide. Aviagen was the first breeding company to achieve
compartmentalization status in the U.K., and expects to
achieve the status in the U.S. by the end of this year.
Environmental sustainability is at the heart of Aviagen breeding
programs. Aviagen birds lead the industry in feed conversion
ratio (FCR). FCR is an industry-standard measurement of an
animal's biological efficiency in converting feed to live body
weight. Thus, with improved FCR, less feed is needed to
produce healthier, more productive birds.
Sustainability is at the heart of our breeding programs;
realized FCR improvements mean that nowadays chicken
production requires much less land to grow feed grains than
would have been required three decades ago. Due to feed
conversion improvements over the last 30 years, approximately
36 million acres of crop land have already been freed up
and, at the current level of global broiler production, close
to an additional 1.2 million acres are being added to that
number every year. At the same time, the health, welfare and
robustness of our breeds have improved greatly, thus adding
to overall efficiency. Additionally, Aviagen provides a choice
of conventional and slower-growing breeds for the various
market segments, and we maintain many genetically diverse
populations in our global gene pool to meet the expected
widely ranging future needs.
BREEDING ENHANCEMENTS YIELD WIDE-RANGING
BY INDUSTRY-LEADING FCR
Poultry has emerged as a sustainable way to supply a surging
demand for nutritious protein. Throughout the years,
Aviagen's welfare-aimed breeding approach has engendered
improvements in feed efficiency, along with giant leaps
forward in poultry health, welfare and performance. Thus,
today's conventional chickens have the potential to feed more
people than ever before, while the environmental footprint of
poultry production has been reduced. Moreover, with a wide
selection of birds bred to meet the needs of varied markets
- slower-growing, conventional, free range and organic
to name a few - consumers can now choose the poultry
products that match their personal preferences. In the end,
Aviagen's breeding ingenuity means good performance for
the poultry producer, a high level of welfare for the birds, a
variety of consumer choices and healthy meat to effectively
feed a growing population.
Director Foley's consideration about "overwhelming the
planet" echoes the concern of the modern consumer. In the
same way that consumers care where their food comes from, it
SPREADING HEALTH AND WELFARE MESSAGES
THROUGH TRANSPARENCY AND COMMUNICATION
Aviagen works to create transparency and communication
with both its customers, stakeholders, and the wider poultry
industry. Peer-reviewed professional journal articles and
publications on topics such as welfare and sustainability serve
to inform the public on the far-reaching benefits of breeding
ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC BENEFITS STIMULATED