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Bright future for college graduates in food, ag, environment

Bright future for college graduates in food, ag, environment

U.S. college graduates will find many professional employment opportunities in the next five years if they have expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources or the environment, according to research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA).

Between 2015 and 2020, there are expected to be 57,900 average annual job openings for graduates with bachelor’s degrees or higher in those areas.

The U of A Career Development Center has seen an increase in the number of companies recruiting students to fill agricultural and food-related job openings. Source: University of Arkansas

According to projections, almost half of the expected job openings will be in management and business, with another 27% in fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Jobs in sustainable food and biomaterials production will make up 15%, while 12% will be in education, communication and government services.

Projections are based on data from several sources. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 10.8% increase in the U.S. labor force from 2012 to 2022 due to job growth and openings from retirement or other replacements. Employment opportunities in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environmental occupations are expected to grow more than 5% during 2015-20 for college graduates with bachelor’s degrees or higher.

STEM areas are expected to see stronger job markets for plant scientists, food scientists, sustainable biomaterials specialists, water resources scientists and engineers, precision agriculture specialists and farm-animal veterinarians.

A strong market is also expected for e-commerce managers and marketing agents, ecosystem managers, agricultural educators, crop advisors and pest control specialists.

The University of Arkansas’ Career Development Center has tracked and seen steady growth in recent years of the number of agricultural companies recruiting on campus and engaging with our students.

An average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources or the environment are expected to fill 61% of the more than 57,000 average annual openings. Most employers prefer graduates with this expertise, but because more annual openings are anticipated than can be filled by graduates, employers may look to areas such as biology, business administration, engineering, education, communication, and consumer sciences to fill the remaining 39%.

The report says graduates in these areas are essential to meet growing challenges in the U.S., but also globally, to provide leadership in providing sustainable food systems, adequate water resources and renewable energy in a world of population growth and climate change.

Graduates who are mobile, have work experience, and have technical and professional skills will have more options if they are willing to seek employment in other states or countries. Graduates who have completed internships or work experiences related to the jobs they apply for are more likely to be hired, according to the report.

USDA making significant scientific advancements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released results of investments in scientific research including 222 new inventions, 94 patents awarded and 125 new patent applications filed in 2015.

The USDA Annual Report on Technology Transfer includes new agriculture-related discoveries, inventions and processes made by USDA researchers, universities and small businesses with the potential for commercial application.

"The work of USDA scientists and the private research we fund improves the lives of all Americans," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "From permanent press cotton clothing, mass production of penicillin, frozen orange juice to the most effective and widely-used mosquito repellents, our scientists and research partners have changed the world and every year their work leads to new advances. Studies show that every dollar invested in agricultural research returns $20 to our economy. Given that track record, we're aggressively working to speed the development and transfer of new technologies to the marketplace."

Highlights from the 2015 report include:

  • A bio-refinery that turned a city landfill into an "energy park"
  • Computer chips made from wood fiber
  • Mosquito-resistant uniforms for U.S. military personnel
  • A new biological control agent to combat a major citrus disease
  • An on-line climate and weather tool to better manage farm pests and plant diseases
  • Cost-effective solar-powered irrigation pumps for remote communities
  • Flu eradication through genome editing in pigs
  • Bacteria repellant cooking pan surfaces
  • Robotic apple pickers
  • Affordable tornado-safe rooms
  • Virus-based fire ant control

The full 2015 Technology Transfer Report, as well as a look at previous USDA research and discoveries, is available on the ARS website. USDA's technology transfer program is administered by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

USDA's technology transfer program is administered by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

Since 2009, USDA has invested $19 billion in research both intramural and extramural. During that time, research conducted by USDA scientists has resulted in 883 patent applications filed, 405 patents issued and 1,151 new inventions disclosures covering a wide range of topics and discoveries. To learn more about how USDA supports cutting edge science and innovation, visit the USDA Medium chapter Food and Ag Science Will Shape Our Future.

USDA scientists and research agencies work to find solutions to agricultural problems affecting the everyday lives of all Americans, providing open data to ensure a safe, stable food supply and supporting a competitive agricultural economy for producers, businesses and their communities.

Tyson Q4 profits rise, sales fall

Despite showing a more than 51% increase in profits for the fourth quarter compared to last year, Tyson Foods Inc. shares tumbled Monday by more than 14% after the company forecasted lower-than-anticipated 2017 profits and announced the company’s chief executive officer Donnie Smith is stepping down December 31. Tom Hayes, president of Tyson, was appointed as the new CEO.

Net income for the quarter was $391 million, compared to $258 million for the same quarter last year. The company’s adjusted quarterly earnings per share were 96 cents, up from 83 cents during the same period last year. Tyson reported an EPS of $4.39. Operating income for the quarter increased from $2.3 billion to $2.8 billion year-over-year. Sales, on the other hand, fell from $41.37billion to $36.88 billion.

“Fiscal 2016 was our fourth consecutive year of record results,” said Smith, chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. “We produced record earnings per share, operating income and operating margin. We’re growing where we want to grow by selling more branded, higher margin products. Sales volume was up in our Core 9 product lines at retail and our top tier products in foodservice.

Smith said the company’s Prepared Foods segment had a record margin for the year, while simultaneously driving industry-leading category growth at retail. The Pork segment had a record year, as well, while the Chicken segment nearly matched last year’s record margin. Smith called the Beef segment “a great turnaround story,” as it produced normalized margins for the year.

“Synergies and profit improvement for the fiscal year totaled $580 million, well exceeding our $500 million target,” Dennis Leatherby, Tyson Foods’ executive vice president and chief financial officer, said. “Our business generated record cash flows that give us the flexibility to drive long-term shareholder value. Our priorities for capital allocation continue to be investing in our existing businesses, acquiring businesses that support our strategic objectives and returning cash to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, all while prudently managing our debt profile.”

Looking forward, Hayes said Tyson will continue building the business for long-term, sustainable growth by investing in innovation, consumer insights, our brands, our customer relationships, our facilities and our people. “In addition to allocating $1 billion for capital expenditures in fiscal 2017, we are investing in initiatives such as improved worker safety, food safety, animal well-being, warehouse and distribution optimization and attracting and retaining talent throughout our company. These investments will pay off in the coming years through, among other things, improved costs and reduced turnover.”

Smith added, “The first seven weeks of fiscal 2017 have been phenomenal as we are off to the best start we have ever experienced. We’re confident we can increase the investment in our business while still growing and delivering another record year with earnings in the range of $4.70-$4.85 per share. We are in a great position now, and we're positioning ourselves for long-term success.”

Summary of segment results

In the Chicken segment, adjusted sales volume decreased for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 as a result of planned temporary decrease in production, continued transition to sell more value-added and less commodity products, and mix changes of rendered product sales. For fiscal 2016, adjusted sales volume decreased slightly due to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 planned decrease in production along with optimizing our mix and our buy versus grow strategy. Adjusted average sales price increased in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 as a result of mix changes. For the 12 months of fiscal 2016, adjusted average sales price decreased as feed costs declined, partially offset by mix changes. Adjusted operating income was negatively impacted in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 by lower sales volume as well as increases in plant variances associated with reduced production, grain and feed ingredients costs, marketing, advertising and promotion expenses and higher operating costs. Feed costs increased $20 million and decreased $170 million during the fourth quarter and 12 months of fiscal 2016, respectively.

Adjusted sales volume in the Beef segment was relatively flat in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 and increased during the 12 months of fiscal 2016 due to increased availability of cattle supply and better demand for our beef products, despite a reduction in live cattle processing capacity due to the closure of our Denison, Iowa, facility in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. Adjusted average sales price decreased due to higher domestic availability of beef supplies and lower livestock cost. Adjusted operating income increased due to more favorable market conditions as we maximized our revenues relative to the decline in live fed cattle cost, in addition to reduced losses from mark-to-market open derivative positions and lower-of-cost-or market inventory adjustments that were incurred in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, partially offset by higher operating costs.

The Pork segment showed an increase in its adjusted sales volume in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 driven by better demand for pork products. For the 12 months of fiscal 2016, adjusted sales volume decreased due to the divestiture of our Heinold Hog Markets business in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Excluding the impact of the divestiture, adjusted sales volume grew 1.2% driven by better demand for our pork products. Adjusted average sale price increased in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 as we maximized our revenues relative to the decline in live hog cost. For the 12 months of fiscal 2016, adjusted average sales price decreased due to increased live hog supplies and lower livestock cost. Adjusted operating income increased as we maximized our revenues relative to the decline in the live hog markets and due to better plant utilization associated with higher volumes, which were partially offset by higher operating costs and losses incurred in our live hog operation.

Adjusted sales volume in the Prepared Foods segment increased in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 due to improved demand for our prepared foods products. For the 12 months of fiscal 2016, adjusted sales volume decreased due to lower sales volume in the first six months of fiscal 2016 due to changes in sales mix and the carryover effect of the 2015 turkey avian influenza occurrence into the first half of fiscal 2016.

Outlook

Tyson said it expects to realize synergies of around $675 million in fiscal 2017 from the acquisition of Hillshire Brands as well as its profit improvement plan for the company’s legacy Prepared Foods business. However, the company reduced its forecast for fiscal 2017 from its previous estimate of $700 million as some incremental synergies are now expected to be realized in fiscal 2018. The majority of these benefits will be realized in our Prepared Foods segment, the company said. 

Falling food prices should end 'food vs. fuel' debate

Falling food prices should end 'food vs. fuel' debate

Millions of Americans preparing for Thanksgiving are undoubtedly noticing that dinner will cost less than it did a year ago. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, overall grocery prices are roughly 2% lower than at this time last year, and prices specifically for poultry products — like turkey — are down 1.5% compared to last fall. Meanwhile, the amount of corn used for fuel ethanol is primed to set a new record in 2016, up roughly 3% from last year.

Food CPI: Annual % Change and Ethanol Usage - Despite the strong increase in the amount of corn used for ethanol, the growth rate in the food CPI slowed after passage of RFS2 at the end of calendar year 2007. Source: USDA, BLS, and Informa Economics IEG (analysis)

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which released an independent analysis on the impact of ethanol on food prices, said the current collision of falling food prices and record ethanol production should end the contrived “food vs. fuel” debate once and for all.

The new statistical analysis, conducted by Informa Economics IEG, retrospectively examined the effect of ethanol expansion on food prices, concluding that “…retail food prices were not impacted in any demonstrable way by expansion of U.S. grain ethanol production under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) over the past decade.” In fact, the study finds that food price inflation has actually slowed during the “ethanol era.”

The analysis shows that growth in food prices slowed considerably after passage of the RFS2, with prices for groceries advancing at roughly half the rate seen prior to the program’s adoption. “Prior to the passage of RFS2, food away from home [e.g., restaurants] grew at an average of 3.4%, versus 3.2% for food at home [e.g., groceries]. After RFS2, food away from home grew at 2.6%, versus 1.8% for food at home,” the study found. “The increase in the food [consumer price index] actually decelerated as the usage of corn in ethanol production increased dramatically.”

The study also examines the impact of ethanol on corn prices, and in turn the impact of corn prices on retail food items. While the authors conclude that corn prices were positively impacted by ethanol expansion, higher corn prices did not necessarily translate into higher consumer food prices.  “Statistical analysis shows that the link between corn prices and overall food prices has been weak,” according to the report, adding that changes in food prices are primarily driven by “…the costs of transforming farm products to retail grocery products, along with transportation and distribution at various levels of the supply chain.” The analysis shows that only 19% of consumer spending on food pays for the value of the farm commodities, with the remaining 81% paying for “…post-farm-gate activities (e.g., transportation, processing, marketing).”

Other factors that drive farm commodity and retail food prices were examined, with Informa concluding that core inflationary pressures, weather events (e.g., flooding and droughts), exchange rates, and energy prices all impacted commodity and food prices over the past decade. In fact, from 2009 to 2014, the impact of crude oil prices on consumer food price inflation was nearly nine times greater than the impact of corn prices.

“The U.S. ethanol industry is set to produce a record volume of high octane renewable fuel this year,” said RFA president and chief executive officer Bob Dinneen “And at the same time, consumers are spending considerably less on food today than they did a year ago. Today’s lower food prices continue a trend of deceleration in food inflation rates that began nearly 10 years ago when the RFS2 was adopted. As the new Informa report clearly demonstrates, there is no discernible link between ethanol production and retail food prices — here in the U.S. or globally. It’s time to put an end to the ridiculous ‘food vs. fuel’ myth that has been propagated for far too long by self-interested opponents of biofuels and the RFS.”

View the analysis here.

For turkey producers, Thanksgiving is a year-round job

For turkey producers, Thanksgiving is a year-round job

Americans consume a lot of turkey every Thanksgiving. So much so that producers spend the whole year building up stocks to meet robust demand every November. Since 2010, turkey meat production has averaged just under 500 million pounds per month, and while that’s enough turkey to meet the needs of consumers during an average month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it is not enough to cover Thanksgiving demand.

“In order to make up for this deficit, producers build up stocks in cold storage throughout the year in order to sell them when November comes around. Turkey stocks reach a low point each year after November and then begin building back up throughout the following year, reaching a high point around September just in time to begin the process all over again.”

USDA said the process also helps explain the gap in prices between fresh and frozen turkeys at the grocery store. “Since demand is met, in part, by frozen product built up throughout the year, only a limited portion can be bought fresh leading to a premium at the checkout line.”

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) said more than 233.1 million turkeys were raised in 2015. More than 212 million of those turkeys were consumed in the U.S. NTF estimates that 46 million of those turkeys were eaten at Thanksgiving, 22 million at Christmas and 19 million at Easter.

A survey conducted by NTF also showed that nearly 88% of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Since the average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 16 pounds, approximately 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S. during Thanksgiving in 2015.

EPA recognizes outstanding food recovery challenge participants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the accomplishments of 13 organizations and businesses participating in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. 

In 2015, more than 800 governments, businesses and organizations participated in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. Participants include organizations such as grocers, restaurants, educational institutions and sports and entertainment venues, who together kept more than 690,000 tons of food from being wasted. These efforts reduced carbon emissions equivalent to taking approximately 86,000 cars off the road for a year and saved businesses up to $35 million in avoided waste disposal fees. 

“The waste reduction efforts of this year’s award winners, as well as all Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers, are leading the way for the United States to meet the national goal to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “These Food Recovery Challenge award winners are reducing food loss and waste within their communities to make America a healthier, more sustainable nation. They are leading by example and have reduced their climate footprint, helped communities and achieved cost savings by taking actions based on EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy and sustainable materials management best practices.”

In the United States, wasted food carries significant economic and environmental costs. Food accounts for the largest share of the municipal waste stream, with roughly 77 billion pounds discarded each year. The estimated value of food that goes uneaten each year is $161.6 billion, costing the average family up to $1,500. Uneaten food and other organic materials in landfills decompose and generate methane, a significantly harmful greenhouse gas. Landfills are one of the largest sources of methane emissions produced from human activity.   

To reduce their food waste, Food Recovery Challenge participants use creative practices such as: 

  • Recovering food from farmers’ markets
  • Creating food waste volunteer programs in high schools
  • Giving college students the option to choose what goes on their plates
  • Using tools to improve portion control and meal forecasting
  • Adding infrastructure to more efficiently distribute perishable produce 

EPA recognizes Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers with awards in two categories:  data-driven and narrative. The data-driven award recipients achieved the highest percent increases in their sector comparing year to year data. Narrative award winners excelled in the areas of source reduction, leadership, innovation, education and outreach and endorsement. EPA is pleased to recognize the following 2016 Food Recovery Challenge national award winners:

Data-driven Improvement by Sector Winners:  
Colleges and Universities: Ursinus College (Collegeville, Pennsylvania)
K-12 Schools: Lanikai School (Kailua, Hawaii)
Grocers: Sprouts Farmers Market – 205 (Claremont, California)
Restaurants and Food Service Providers: Goodkind (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Sports and Entertainment Venues: Chumash Casino Resort (Santa Ynez, California)
Hotels, Resorts, and Lodging: Ortega National Parks, LLC - Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company (Carlsbad, New Mexico)  
Newcomer: Sprouts Farmers Market – 286 (La Habra, California)
Other Sector: Town of New Paltz (New Paltz, New York)

Narrative Category Winners:
Source Reduction: University of California, Davis (Davis, California)
Leadership: Sodexo (Gaithersburg, Maryland)
Innovation: Food Forward (Los Angeles, California)
Education and Outreach: Ramona High School (Ramona, California)
Endorsers: Northeast Recycling Council (Brattleboro, Vermont)

Native Americans raised turkeys before Europeans

Hundreds of years before the first Thanksgiving, Native Americans were raising and feasting on turkeys.

Florida State University associate professor of anthropology Tanya Peres and graduate student Kelly Ledford write in a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports that Native Americans as early as 1200-1400 A.D. were managing and raising turkeys.

This is the first time scientists have suggested that turkeys were potentially domesticated by early Native Americans in the southeastern U.S.

"In the Americas, we have just a few domesticated animals," Peres said. "Researchers haven't really talked about the possibility of Native Americans domesticating or raising turkeys."

Researchers knew that turkeys had been a part of Native American life long before the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

Their feathers were used on arrows, in headdresses and clothing. The meat was used for food. Their bones were used for tools including scratchers used in ritual ceremonies. There are even representations of turkeys in artifacts from the time. An intricately engraved marine shell pendant found at a site in central Tennessee shows two turkeys facing each other.

However, this new research indicates turkeys were more than just a casual part of life for Native Americans of that era. Peres and Ledford came across a few curiosities as they examined skeletons of turkeys from archaeological sites in Tennessee that led them to believe that Native Americans were actively managing these fowls.

For one, the groupings researchers worked on had more male turkeys than a typical flock.

In a typical flock of turkeys, there are usually more females, Peres said. In the flock they examined, they found more remains of males. That would only happen if it were designed that way, she said.

"It appears Native Americans were favoring males for their bones for tools," Peres said. "They certainly would have favored males for their feathers. They tend to be much brighter and more colorful than the female species. Female feathers tend to be a dull grey or brown to blend in to their surroundings since they have to sit on the nest and protect the chicks."

The other immediately noticeable trait that stood out to Peres and Ledford was that these ancient birds were big boned — much larger than today's average wild turkey. That could be the result of them being purposefully cared for or fed diets of corn.

"The skeletons of the archaeological turkeys we examined were quite robust in comparison to the skeletons of our modern comparatives," Ledford said. "The domestication process typically results in an overall increase in the size of the animal so we knew this was a research avenue we needed to explore."

Peres and Ledford are working with colleagues at Washington State University to perform a DNA sequencing of these turkeys and also conduct experiments to see what the turkeys were eating. If they were being fed corn, a chemical signature should appear in the remains.

Ledford is also collecting data from additional sites across the southeastern U.S. to see if this pattern of managing turkeys was consistent across settlements or if it was an isolated practice.

"It might be that not everybody was practicing this, but some people were for sure," Peres said.

Grant to improve health of Great Lakes basin

Ron Turco, professor of agronomy at Purdue, will research the relationship between soil health and its impact on water quality for the improvement of health in the Great Lakes basin. Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell.

The department of agronomy at Purdue University has received a $225,000 grant for one of the first large-scale attempts to directly link in-field soil health parameters with intensive edge-of-field water quality monitoring across the Great Lakes basin.

“The boundary between soil and edge-of-field water is challenging but an important area of work. This effort is designed to understand how the soil’s health impacts the retention or release of major plant nutrients such as nitrogen or phosphorus,” said Ron Turco, professor of agronomy.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awarded the funding as part of a $508,000 grant to improve the health of the Great Lakes basin.

Turco and soil microbiologist Marianne Bischoff Gray will partner with colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to evaluate the important connection between soil health and farm management practices and their effects on water quality.

Purdue’s role in the four-year study will focus on soil biology and how microbial processes impact soil nutrient release.

Site selections and regional contacts with farmers will be coordinated within Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and New York to assess long-term ecosystem responses.

“This scientific research will provide direct management recommendations and education to support good stewardship of the nation’s most significant water resources and forests,” Turco said.

Pork, beef complex hit record production volumes

Pork, beef complex hit record production volumes

Urner Barry analyst Russell Barton reported that combined beef and pork production for the week ending November 19 hit an all-time high volume of 1.0618 billion pounds. This record setting week was led by the pork side, with pork production also establishing a new all-time high at 534.3 million pounds, he said.

Additionally, the volume exceeded the beef counterpart by 6.8 million pounds. “Weekly pork production has exceeded that of beef for 21 out of 46 weeks so far in 2016,” Barton said.  The week’s beef production totaled 527.5 million pounds, 55.1 million pounds below the all-time high set in June of 2003.

“Record packer margins accompanied by ample hog supplies have opened the door for these incredible production figures,” Barton explained, adding that in the third quarter U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Hogs & Pigs” report, the figures for all hogs and pigs inventory, market hog inventory, pig crop and pigs saved per litter each set new all-time highs.


H5N8 avian flu risk to people is very low

Eight European countries have reported highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strain A/H5N8 in wild birds, zoo birds and poultry holdings.

This is the second time this virus has been introduced into Europe via the autumn migration of wild birds, although the H5N8 strain has been circulating continuously in Asia since 2010, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDC).

Full genome sequencing of recent A/H5N8 viruses suggest that these remain essentially avian viruses without any specific increased risk for humans, ECDC reported, and no human infections with this virus have ever been reported worldwide.

ECDC recently updated its rapid risk assessment, concluding that the risk of transmission to the general public in Europe is considered to be very low.

HPAI A/H5N8 viruses cluster in the same hemagglutinin clade as A/H5N1 viruses from Asia and A/H5N6 — which has caused severe disease in humans in China — so the possibility of transmission from birds to humans cannot be completely ruled out, ECDC explained. People in direct contact with or handling diseased birds or poultry and their carcasses may be at risk of infection.

Given this potential zoonotic risk, ECDC said control measures for avian influenza in poultry and birds are being implemented by the affected countries to ensure that persons at risk are sufficiently protected from infection.

An increased mortality in wild birds in Europe has been observed compared to the first reports of A/H5N8 in 2014-15. On Oct. 27, 2016, authorities in Hungary reported the detection of HPAI A/H5N8 in a wild swan.

Further notifications of HPAI A/H5N8 viruses detected in wild birds and poultry holdings have been made by seven additional European countries. Austria, Hungary and Germany reported outbreaks in poultry and detections in wild birds. Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Switzerland reported infection in wild birds only, while the Netherlands detected HPAI A/H5N8 in wild birds and birds in a zoo. India and Israel are currently reporting outbreaks in birds while South Korea, Taiwan and Russia reported outbreaks earlier this year. Culling of the affected poultry in European countries is ongoing or completed; protection zones and surveillance zones have been established.

Ongoing monitoring and testing of wild birds and domestic poultry in the European Union plays an important role in the detection and protection against exposure and subsequent spread of the virus in poultry across Europe. This may equally minimize the human risk via exposure to infected birds.