in: News | 05 Dec 2013
With recent avian influenza outbreaks front-of-mind, the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd (AECL) today launched a new initiative aimed at reducing the risk of future disease outbreaks among Australia’s laying hens.
AECL developed the online diagnostic tool called Hen Support, in collaboration with Fractal Solutions, to assist egg farmers identify and solve performance problems and diagnose sick hens before seeking further veterinary advice.
AECL Managing Director James Kellaway said Hen Support would provide egg farmers with important information about hen health issues (including avian influenza) as well as guidance on hen performance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Avian Influenza cannot be cured with Hen Support but it can help identify the disease. In fact, if used properly and in the right situation, Hen Support could assist in detecting the disease in its early stages," Mr Kellaway said.
"Hen Support provides egg farmers with the opportunity to assess the severity of hen health problems and seek veterinary assistance when necessary. In some instances, Hen Support can pick up early signs of a disease so it can be treated and contained in a rapid and efficient manner. If an egg farmer notices that their hens are not well, the farmer can run the symptoms through a simple set of question on the Hen Support website. Based on the farmer’s answers to those questions, the site then provides advice on what could be ailing the hens and what the potential courses of action are, before the farmer sought help from a veterinary surgeon. This could help reduce the risk and spread of avian influenza and other serious diseases in Australia into the future, or at least get on top of a disease a lot earlier," Mr Kellaway said.
Fractal Solutions Managing Director, Dr Santiago Ramirez, said Hen Support could help with rapid identification of diseases, particularly notifiable ones such as avian influenza, so that losses and further spreading was minimised.
"This will ultimately improve the overall health status of the Australian layer flock. Hen Support puts Australia at the forefront of primary production innovation and knowledge extension," Dr Ramirez said.
Hen Support also includes a library that provides straightforward information on over 120 hen health disorders.
"Each disorder is briefly summarised on the site. The site also suggests potential courses of action to fix the problem and prevent them from occurring into the future. For less than $1 per day hen support provides a resource that will assist producers identify possible issues that could be costing them thousands," he said.
Egg farmers are eligible to receive free access to Hen Support (www.hensupport.com.au) for the first 12 months. For further information, please email email@example.com.
in: News | 04 Oct 2013
Based on scientific research, the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd believes all egg production systems have their own advantages and disadvantages in relation to hen welfare. Recent scientific research undertaken by the University of Sydney demonstrated that hen stress levels are similar across cage, barn and free range environments, with the key determinants on hen welfare being hen husbandry not the system used.
in: News | 21 Dec 2012
AECL withdraws CTM application
21 December 2012
The Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) yesterday advised IP Australia that it will withdraw its current application for a Certification Trade Mark (CTM) covering an enhanced Quality Assurance (QA) program for the Australian egg industry.
The QA program was developed over three years and included an exhaustive process involving extensive consultation with scientists, egg producers, regulators and the broader community. The program is aimed at ensuring minimum egg production standards are attained on-farm in hen health, food safety, farm quarantine & biosecurity, environmental stewardship, egg labelling and hen welfare for cage, barn-laid and free range egg production.
However, in response to concerns from some members of the community regarding three of the 171 minimum standards in the proposed QA program, some structural elements of the program and other observations, AECL has decided to withdraw the CTM Application. At this point in time, AECL intends to submit a new CTM application after taking stock, thoroughly reviewing the issues raised and making any necessary amendments to the minimum standards.
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