WATT PoultryUSA - January 2018 - 28
28 ❙ WATTPoultryUSA
Top 10 turkey industry disease,
A survey of industry professionals and veterinarians found the retreat
from antibiotic use is shrinking the already short supply of effective
treatments for key health challenges.
Changing attitudes and policies toward the use of antibiotics and other antimicrobials are contributing to new and
emergent health challenges in the turkey industry, according to National Turkey Federation (NTF) research.
The research was presented in an October 2017 report authored by Dr. Steven Clark, a poultry veterinarian with Devenish Nutrition, and Victoria Ahlmeyer,
scientific and regulatory affairs coordinator for the
NTF. In September 2017, the report's authors conducted a survey of 23 turkey industry professionals
and veterinarians covering the health of turkeys raised
between August 2016 and August 2017. The annual
survey helps establish which health and industry issues
are seen as the most important.
The report said the most critical issues are lack
of efficacious drugs, colibacillosis, ORT, clostridial
dermatitis, coccidiosis, leg problems, Bordatella and
Lack of efficacious drugs
A common theme throughout the report is the lack
of drugs for effectively preventing and treating key
diseases. A large contribution comes from the continued shift toward antibiotic-free (ABF) and no-antibiotics-ever (NAE) poultry growing programs and the
new veterinary feed directive, which bans the use of
medically important antibiotics for growth promotion
and requires veterinary oversight for the use of these
drugs. Removing antibiotics and antimicrobials - like
ionophore anticoccidials - is leading to an elevation of
concern about coccidiosis and other diseases.
"Increased outside pressure to reduce or even
eliminate the use of antimicrobial drug use in animals
continues, which poses a large threat to the industry in
the case of a bacterial disease outbreak, similar to that
of a viral disease outbreak," i.e. avian influenza, the
Furthermore, the report said the lack of drugs specifically to treat colibacillosis, fowl cholera and blackhead continues to be a problem.
Colibacillosis, a disease caused by an infection of
Escherichia coli, ranked as the second largest health
concern among the turkey industry. Since the 2005
withdrawal of the New Animal Drug Application
(NADA) for enrofloxacin, the poultry industry has not
had a therapeutic response to the disease.
Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale, or ORT, is a
highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the
eponymous bacteria. The disease originates in Europe
and South Africa. The first case was confirmed in
the U.S. in 1993 and, in 1995, it spread around the
Midwest, causing a major respiratory health problem.
Since then, it's become endemic to most of the country.
Biosecurity measures - like proper water sanitation - can help minimize the severity and spread of the
disease, the report said. Vaccination options are limited
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ January 2018