February 27, 2006


USPOULTRY and ACDI/VOCA team up to take on avian influenza

Press release


The US Poultry & Egg Association has signed an agreement with ACDI/VOCA to provide technical assistance regarding the recent highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks internationally. The two organisations will assist in recruiting US poultry health experts who will provide technical assistance to countries fighting HPAI.


According to Dr Elizabeth Krushinskie, vice president of food safety and production programmes at USPOULTRY, "We are working with ACDI/VOCA and US government agencies to coordinate the recruitment, training and equipping of veterinary experts from the US poultry industry to support international efforts to stamp out the Asian HPAI (H5N1) virus in birds."


USPOULTRY's initial focus will be to help facilitate the development of a pool of poultry industry experts who will be available for rapid deployment to foreign countries to assist with the ever-growing HPAI prevention, diagnosis and response needs. According to Krushinskie, over 70 individuals have indicated an interest in participating so far and several veterinarians have already been deployed. These individuals will be trained in cooperation with US government agencies responsible for participating in the eradication efforts.


"This is a great opportunity for the US poultry industry to contribute to HPAI eradication efforts overseas with the objective of eliminating the disease before it becomes a significant issue for us," she said. "We have some of the most highly trained poultry health experts here in the United States and we are willing and ready to step up to the plate and provide assistance in the fight against this virus. HPAI is a significant animal agriculture disease as well as a human health threat and must be eradicated at the source as soon as possible."


Krushinskie has travelled across the globe assessing HPAI preparedness and developing diagnostic capability in some of the former Soviet Union countries such as Armenia. She will assist the World Bank and the US Agency for International Development by travelling to the Ukraine to conduct a preparedness assessment for detecting, diagnosing and containing the virus. This will mark her third international trip to assist with HPAI control efforts.


Formed in 1947, the US Poultry & Egg Association is the world's largest and most active poultry organisation where all segments of the poultry industry are represented. The focus of the association is research, education, communications and technical assistance. USPOULTRY annually sponsors the International Poultry Expo, the world's largest gathering of poultry industry leaders. The association is devoted to the progress and welfare of the poultry industry, both domestically and internationally.


ACDI/VOCA is a private, non-profit organisation that promotes broad-based economic growth and the development of civil society in emerging democracies and developing countries. Offering a comprehensive range of technical assistance services, ACDI/VOCA creates sustainable wealth by supporting increased agribusiness productivity, growth, and competitiveness.


For additional information, contact Dr Krushinskie at bkrushinskie@poultryegg.org or call +1-770-493-9401.

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