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Should we vaccinate against bird flu? Survey results

Slightly more than a third of the surveyed market participants (38%) support the idea of vaccinating poultry against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) both at commercial and backyard farms. This is according to the survey carried out by Veterinary Medicine and Life among the participants of the “Veterinary Welfare as a Guarantee of Food Security” conference held within the II Eurasian Economic Forum.

Should we vaccinate against bird flu? Survey results
Infographics by Ekaterina Lashkarava /V&L

The same survey was carried out by V&L on its Telegram channel.

Another 10% of participants believe that only commercial flocks should be vaccinated. The same amount of people think that only breeding stock should be immunized, and only 6% support vaccination of poultry at backyard farms.

Another 34% of participants believe that vaccination is not a solution. Strict biosecurity measures must be applied at commercial farms. This opinion is shared by Sergey Lakhtyukhov, the General Director of the National Union of Poultry Breeders. In his comment on the survey results, he said that managing avian influenza should not be narrowed down solely to a vaccination issue.

“There are two factors that matter to us: the economics of business and being able to feed the population. Speaking of the economics of business, the costs of veterinary support amount to 3-5% of the cost structure. At the same time, these costs cover 100% of food security,” said Sergey Lakhtyukhov.

He underlined that the vaccination of livestock will lead to curbs on poultry meat exports, which currently reach 350,000 tons per year. “These volumes will appear on the local market. How will it affect business? Two years ago, I heard the following assessment from a consulting company: an additional 100,000 tons of poultry meat on the market will reduce the selling price by 10%. To be specific, in February and March this year, selling prices for products had zero profitability. This means that manufacturers weren’t even able to repay their loans. If 350,000 tons aimed for export stay in the domestic market and the price of poultry meat reduces, let’s say, not by 35% but by 10-15%, what will happen to the companies that are currently operating on the verge of profitability?” summed up Sergey Lakhtyukhov.

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English version, 26 May 2023 22:52
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