Poultry Farming in Rural Egypt

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Discussion The aim of this survey was to characterize the current poultry production and marketing system in rural Gharbiya, Egypt, in order to enable policy makers to design and implement disease surveillance and control strategies that are effective and suitable for the local habits and conditions in the area. It is noticeable from the results that more than 80% of households in the studied population own poultry and most of them keep multiple species at the same time and place. Keeping more than one species of poultry at the same place is a risk factor for many poultry diseases such as HPAI H5N1, which is often asymptomatic in ducks and geese that can silently spread the disease to other poultry species (Swayne, 2007). In Egypt, since the first outbreak of HPAI H5N1 in early 2006 the disease is still circulating in the poultry population and has become endemic despite the efforts and resources mobilized by the government to control the disease. This failure in controlling AI in poultry in Egypt may be due to the implementation of control measures that may not be suitable for the current poultry production systems that characterised by low biosecurity. Another indication for the failure of controlling HPAI H5N1 outbreaks in poultry is the increasing number of human cases (WHO 2010). Domestic poultry such as chicken, ducks and geese have been known as reservoirs and sources for many zoonotic pathogens that can be transmitted to humans either via direct contact with infected poultry or via consumption of contaminated poultry products. Taking AI as an example, domestic poultry are an important link between wild birds and humans in the emergence and transmission of highly pathogenic strains of AI that can be potentially infect... ... middle of paper ... ... It has been found that live poultry markets are major points for contact between live birds and humans and potential sources for viral amplification and spread of infection (Kung et al., 2007; Kung et al., 2003; Fielding et al., 2005). Conclusions Poultry production and marketing in Egypt is a complex system. Any control program should take into account: the characteristics of the local production systems, habits, knowledge and risk perception of the local population. Further detailed studies are required for more understanding of poultry production and marketing in Egypt also follow up studies to assess the efficacy of control policies in order to review and improve. There should be coordination and collaboration between general veterinary services, veterinary research institutes and laboratory diagnostics and veterinary colleges in different parts of Egypt.

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