The 23rd World Poultry Congress: Poultry safety takes the spotlight

With bird flu and other health issues hounding the global poultry industry, it is but proper that the 23rd World Poultry Congress (WPC) held last June 30 to July 4 in Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia focused on poultry safety and sanitation which shook public confidence in poultry and poultry products.


Held every four years, the Congress-- organized by the World Poultry Science Association (WPSA)-- is considered the Mecca for poultry scientists as around the world in reviewing and discussing the latest in poultry technology and industry.  With renowned industry names such as Danisco, Kemin, Biomin, DSM and Evonik Degussa participating in the event, this year's Congress also convenes four events: the 6th Asian-Pacific Poultry Health Conference (AP6), the 4th International Ratite Science Symposium (4IRSS), and the 2008 Australian Poultry Information Exchange (PIX2008). Additonally, the triennial Australian Poultry Science Symposium have also been subsumed into the Congress.


The opening ceremony, graced by numerous delegates and visitors from all over the world, was led by Pym and WPSA current president Professor RÏ‹veyde Akbay. Keynote speaker John Hodges from the Food and Agriculture Organization, who emphasised the challenges, opportunities and dangers for poultry production.  In his speech, Hodges-- who also heads FAO's genetic programmes for the improvement of farm animals in the developing world and for the conservation of animal biodiversity-- said that "poultry production has achieved outstanding biological and economic performance in the last fifty years as outstanding leadership harnessed science and business." But as the world now moving towards man-made disasters such as the impending economic collapse in the West, Hodges notes that leaders in the poultry sector should again "show innovation and moral courage in shaping a sustainable future" and that an earlier successful model of science and business must be "reshaped to ensure the survival of civilised society and food security".


According to Dr Bob Pym, congress chairperson and WPSA Australia branch president, WPC 2008 is by far "the largest exhibition ever staged in Australia with in excess of 200 exhibition booths." Many of the Congress' delegates and speakers come from developing countries wherein WPSA have allocated funds to attend the convention-- an indication that third world nations are also significant in bringing the world poultry sector in a better perspective.


The trade show's success has some countries scramble to become the event's next host. Brazil will lead the next Congress in 2012 and China won the venue bid by 2016. "WPC is a landmark event to showcase the most recent developments in the poultry industry and create an excellent network for the exhibitors and visitors," says Akbay.

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