October 20, 2014

(Dan) Hi there folks and thanks for joining us today on Doc Talk we’re going to have an exciting show. Our guest will be Dr. Darrell Trampel from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University and we’re gonna discuss some things on securing an egg supply and we’re going to talk about some of the things that he does here for the poultry industry in the state of Iowa and here at Iowa State’s Diagnostic Lab. Thanks for joining us today, we’ll be right back after the break.

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(Dan) Well Dr. Trampel welcome to the show. (Darrell) Thank you. Glad to be here. (Dan) It’s great to have you here. And folks this is Dr. Darrell Trampel from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University where he serves as the Poultry Extension Veterinarian and Poultry Diagnostician here at the Diagnostic Laboratory which carries a pretty big responsibility in the State of Iowa. (Darrell) Yes, the state of Iowa is now the number one egg production state in this country. We have between 55 and 60 million laying hens in production in this state. That’s more than the next two states combined, so we have a huge egg industry in this state. Our turkey industry is significant, about 8th in size in the United States and we have some broilers in this state. Most people don’t think about this, but we also have a significant game bird industry and we have game birds, in particular bob white quail and chukar partridge and most of these are raised and used in hunting preserves. (Dan) I’ll be dang. Well, it is a big industry and it comes with big responsibility. We’ve had some great discussions…it’s nice for me to come home being an alumni of the College of Veterinary Medicine here at Iowa State and really dig into some of the programs that are really doing some good things. And yours is obviously one of those. And so what are some of the things that you do here at Iowa State? (Darrell) As a Poultry Extension Veterinarian I take telephone calls and emails and answer questions for people who own birds all the way from the folks who have just a few backyard birds to the large commercial operations that may have 2 million chickens on an egg production. site. There is a great range in the size of the operations that I deal with. Very often we have questions pertaining to animal welfare. In recent years backyard poultry or urban poultry have become more popular. Those questions are increasing in frequency and so there is a wide range of questions, everything from animal welfare to disease problems that the owners might be encountering and everything in between. (Dan) Wow. And then on… I assume, on the pathology side of things you’re taking cases that are being submitted to the diagnostic lab and working to solve those issues with practitioners and producers alike. (Darrell) That’s exactly right, we have birds submitted to the diagnostic lab intact, sometimes tissues are submitted, only the tissues and those we usually do bacterial cultures or histopathology which is microscopic examination on. And so once the birds come in, we do an necropsy and that’s the equivalent of an autopsy in a human. (Dan) Right. (Darrell) And so I, as a pathologist, I look at the lesions, which are abnormal tissue changes and based on the lesions and the history of the case, some tissues will go to the bacteriology section of the lab, some will go to the virology section of the lab. Some tissues might go for microscopic section development and once in a while we have serology done too. So, the pathologist as to kind of know a lot diseases and know which tests are needed to confirm or deny a diagnosis. (Dan) Big job. We’re gonna take a break. When we come back, more with Dr. Trampel here at Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

(Dan) Welcome back to Doc Talk. I’m Dr. Dan Thompson and I’m here with Dr. Darrell Trampel who is a Poultry Extension Veterinarian and Poultry Diagnostician here at Iowa State University. And we have taken Doc Talk on the road to glean some outside expertise and we really appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to be with us. Dr. Trampel has a program that he has developed and works with called the Secure Egg Supply and I think it is something that would be fascinating that we would start to share some of the details. Why don’t you just start out and give us the 30 thousand foot view of what that is. (Darrell) Sure. Back in 2003 in Asia, highly pathogenic Avian Influenza was diagnosed. Initially in South Korea, but very rapidly it spread throughout Asia and that Avian Influenza pretty much stayed in Asia until about 2005 when the virus got into migrating birds in Qinghai Lake in China and thereafter the virus spread to Africa and Europe and there was a great concern this virus might come to the United States. And so because of that concern, the National Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Response Plan was developed. And this was an excellent plan, but there was a problem as far as the egg industry was concerned in that there would be 96 hours after the initial detection of a disease before the Federal government had the opportunity to determine where the virus was and how far it had spread. If an egg operation with a million and a half chickens happened to be inside of a control area, and a control area is within a diameter or radius, I should say, of 6.2 miles from the initial outbreak they wouldn’t be able to move their eggs for 96 hours. Unfortunately the commercial egg operators could only store whole shell or liquid eggs for 48 hours. (Dan) Oh my. (Darrell) After 48 hours, all those eggs would have to be destroyed. And depending upon the price of the eggs at that time and the number of birds in a premise, people could lose up to a quarter million dollars a day if they couldn’t move those eggs. So, consequently we worked with many others not just Iowa State, but the University of Minnesota, USDA, FDA, the private industry and many others to develop a plan where the egg premises could show that they do not have that virus and would be able to move their eggs in 48 hours. And this plan has been very well accepted in Iowa. Virtually 100 percent of the commercial egg industry in this state participate. One of the large primary breeders participates, as well as a mail order hatchery primary breeder and kind of a specialty business that produces specific pathogen free eggs. So, we have had great participation in this. And the industry likes this idea of being able to get those eggs moving as soon as possible. (Dan) Well, I think it is something that gives us a place to take a break. And when we come back I think the thing that is incredible to me is the forward planning before we were trying to get to that detection of the foreign animal diseases and now we’re really putting those checks and balances in place to allow us to have a safe and secure food supply. Thanks for joining us. Thank you for joining us. More with Dr. Trampel right after the break.

(Dan) Hi there folks, welcome back to Doc Talk, I’m Dr. Dan Thomson and we are on the road at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Darrell Trampel is our guest and we’re talking about secure egg supply and when we left we were talking about about the unique part of the program about keeping eggs viable in the face of an outbreak. And keeping production moving forward and food security and so let’s continue on about that and get down to some of the specifics. (Darrell) Sure. To move eggs everyone has to be assured that those eggs are free of any virus and the flock that originate those eggs, or lays those eggs does not have a virus. And so we have developed a preparedness option for people who want to prepare before an outbreak and this option requires training. We go out to the individual premises and we train people there to take samples so that in the event of an outbreak they don’t have to wait for the Federal or State government employee to come along and get the samples. The samples are taken from the roof the mouth and are placed brain-heart infusion broth, in a little tube. Those samples are collected in the morning. By noon we plan on having those samples arrive at the diagnostic lab. During the afternoon there’s a test called the PCR test that can be done in about three hours. And that test is mechanized and you can run a lot of samples in a short period of time. So by the end of the day that the samples are collected results are known and the results are forwarded to the incident command. The incident command is the organizational structure of the Federal government that controls these outbreaks when a foreign animal disease occurs. The testing gets done from every house, every day. Results are known at the end of each day. If the tests come back negative, if the chicken in that house are acting normally, they’re eating normally, they’re drinking normally and producing normal numbers of eggs and the mortality in the house remains within normal levels, then those eggs are able to go to market. They are put into a truck and the truck is sealed and nobody opens that seal until they arrive at their destination. (Dan) And I think it’s important that people understand this in the face of an outbreak. We’re trying to find the herds or the houses that are unaffected so that we can still have eggs. (Darrell) That’s exactly right. One other key part of this preparedness planning is that Iowa has a memorandum of understanding with several adjacent states that Iowa egg producers do business with. We have a memorandum of understanding with Minnesota, our state to the north, Nebraska, our state to the west, Michigan and Colorado. So, for example, in the case of an outbreak if an Iowa producer need to move eggs an egg operation in Iowa to Colorado, the state animal health authority in all of those states are already aware of the plan and they have agreed to participate and those eggs will be able to move interstate without very much hold up. We think Wisconsin will soon join the plan as well. (Dan) Very important to move in those. We are going to have to take a break. But when we come back, we’ll kind of wrap up and talk a little bit more. Really appreciate what you’re doing. Thank you for watching Doc Talk and we’ll be back in a minute.

(Dan) Hi there folks, welcome back to Doc Talk. It’s Dr. Dan Thomson here with Dr. Darrell Trampel and we are at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. We’ve been talking about a secure egg supply and you know, a lot of contemporary issues around our food animal production systems and whether it’s food safety or sustainability and the one that we’ve talked about during the break was animal welfare. And I think there’s a lot of questions about welfare especially when you are talking about egg production. And you know, what are some of the things or highlights that you see here as we close the show. (Darrell) For the egg industry I think animal welfare is right at the top and one of the issues that they’re concerned about. And the welfare concerns revolve primarily around the amount of space available to chickens in cages. And a lot of progress has been done and made over the years. The United Egg Producers now recommends twice the amount of space per hen that they used to. And interestingly enough about a year or two ago, the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States, reached an agreement, a compromise on the animal welfare issue. And as part of this compromise, the agreement was that chickens would stay in cages, but it would be a very different kind of cage. These would be cages that maybe had 50 or 60 chickens in them instead of maybe 6 or 8. They would be much larger. The cages would have nests that the bird could go in and lay their eggs. They will have perches, they will have places where they can scratch and so forth, and do many of the normal activities that a chicken would do if it was outside of the cage. The issue has not been resolved yet, in that the desire is for the Federal government to make this an official approved law. The reason this is so important to the egg industry is that over the last few years many different states have started to enact their own laws and rules and regulations. So an egg producer in Iowa for example, may or may not, be able to meet the requirements of other states. One of the most important states is California and they have passed a law called Proposition 2 and under this proposition birds have to have lots of space and the problem is that California now requires all eggs entering the state to have the same space requirements. And so we then have an impairment of trade across states and that is a big issue for a state like Iowa where the vast majority of the eggs in the state are exported to other places in the country. (Dan) Sure. Big issue. (Darrell) Free movement of eggs across state lines is critical and some kind of an agreement is needed to make that happen. (Dan) Well, thanks for being on the show today. And, you know, it’s very interesting to me on how we’re preparing to keep secure food supply whether it’s a welfare issue or a disease issue and really appreciate the efforts that you’re making to help us do that. (Darrell) Thank you very much. I am glad to be here today. (Dan) And thank you for watching Doc Talk and if you want to know more about the show you can go to us at www.doctalktv.com. Remember always work with your local practitioner. This is Dr. Dan Thomson, thanks for watching Doc Talk today and I’ll see you down the road.

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