Visit organized by USDA and USAPEEC with a goal to promote international poultry trade and knowledge sharing
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A delegation of government agricultural officials from India paid a visit to Aviagen® facilities in Elkmont, Ala., on Nov. 16 to take an in-depth look at a leading U.S. poultry breeding operation.
The visit was part of a five-day tour organized by the USDA and the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC). In addition to Aviagen, the delegation also visited the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL), the Georgia Poultry Laboratory, Koch Foods and a turkey processing facility.
The USDA and USAPEEC intended the overall tour to promote international poultry trade by sharing knowledge about the U.S. poultry industry structure, biosecurity procedures and regulatory supervision.
Delegation experienced Aviagen facilities, practices and world-class biosecurity
The visit to the Aviagen Elkmont production site was arranged by Dr. Kate Hayes, production program veterinarian for Aviagen North America, and Dr. Eric Jensen, vice president of Veterinary Services for Aviagen North America. Because Elkmont features an abundance of facilities within a relatively small area, the delegation was able to experience Aviagen practices at their veterinary laboratory, GP hatchery, great grandparent (GGP) production center and GGP farm.
The delegation had the chance to witness first-hand Aviagen’s exceptional biosecurity program, which has helped the poultry genetics leader to become the first poultry breeding company in the U.S. to be certified as an Avian Influenza Clean Compartment in October of this year. In April 2011 Aviagen U.K. became the first primary breeding company in the world to gain compartment status. Aviagen India was also awarded the status for its Elayamuthur facility.
Agricultural dignitaries from US and India join tour
Joining the tour were state veterinarians from Alabama and Tennessee, along with dignitaries from India’s Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Representatives from the USDA and USAPEEC also were present.
Seated L-R: Sana Makkani, USAPEEC Manager of Allied Industry Relations; Dee Hale, APHIS Foreign Agricultural Service; Dr. Dawn Hunter, APHIS Veterinary Services National Import Export Services (NIES); Shannon Driggers, USAPEEC, Technical Services
Standing L-R: Lola Crespo, Aviagen Microbiologist; Dr. Sharon Williams, APHIS Attaché, New Delhi, APHIS International Services; Sujit Dutta, Assistant Trade Commissioner, DADF; Dr. Mark Krause, USDA SPRS Assistant District Director; Fidelis Hegngi, APHIS Veterinary Services SPRS, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Avian, Swine, and Aquatic Animal Health Center; Dr. Eric Jensen, Ashok Kumar, Assistant Director General of Animal Health, ICAR; Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary of Trade, DADF; Dr. Kate Hayes