Cobb-Vantress has become the first company in Brazil to receive certification for poultry compartmentalisation for avian influenza and Newcastle disease from the country's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA).
The certification was confirmed at a ceremony at the MAPA headquarters in Brasilia attended by Blairo Maggi, Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, and Francisco Turra, president of the Brazilian Association of Poultry Producers (ABPA), together with Monique Eloit, director general of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Poultry compartmentalisation is based on MAPA's Normative Ruling No. 21 established in partnership with the ABPA. This model is aimed at protecting against avian influenza and Newcastle disease through highly traceable bird health procedures, in addition to a plan for quick and efficient action for disease control in the event of an outbreak.
Bruno Pessamilio, director of the Agriculture Defense Secretariat, explained that compartmentalisation is designed to ensure that products can reach markets even during a global poultry health emergency.
Jairo Arenazio, Cobb-Vantress executive director for South America, said the company had been working to expand foreign trade for the last 10 years. At that time with the company only exporting to five countries, substantial investments were made to open up the possibility of supplying markets worldwide.
"Today, we are exporting to over 20 countries in four continents," said Jairo Arenazio. "With the help of this new compartment status, which has become a quality hallmark for breeding stock produced in Brazil, Cobb intends to increase exports further."
He said compartmentalisation had become a 'point of no return' for the poultry industry: "We are raising the health bar in the Brazilian poultry industry and showing, once more, it is leading the world in innovation and establishing a worldwide benchmark."
Francisco Turra emphasised the private sector's effort to fight epidemics. "Animal health is our passport to the world. Never has an outbreak of avian influenza been registered in Brazil, and we are on the right path to prevention. Brazil will be an island of high poultry health status in the world."
Monique Eloit saw the Brazilian certification as just the beginning of extending the process of compartmentalisation worldwide. "I want to be back in Brazil in a few years and verify that the country remains free of diseases such as avian influenza," she added.
In 2004, OIE introduced the concept of 'compartments' to recognise businesses which operate to a high standard of biosecurity that they can ensure their facilities will remain disease free even in the event of a notifiable disease outbreak in the country.
In 2009, the UK introduced its own version of compartmentalisation. It adopted all the rules of the EU compartment standard, but additionally required enhanced serological testing and biosecurity.