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National Turkey Federation Testifies on Capitol Hill
Today, Ron Kardel, Vice Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Capitol Hill. Kardel updated the Committee on the state of the turkey industry, including topics such as exports, disease prevention and response, immigration, and research concerns. Kardel began with thanking the Committee for the opportunity, informing those at the hearing that there were more than 244 million turkeys raised in the United States last year. Kardel added that the USDA projects 5.8 billion pounds of turkey production to take place this year. The turkey industry generates 441,000 jobs, and in order to support these jobs, Kardel explained that policies coming out of Washington must maintain America's ability to thrive. Kardel spoke on behalf of the turkey industry when he expressed the anticipation of working with Congress and the Committee to address these issues.
Kardel mentioned the importance of exports to the turkey industry, stating that expanded trade would lead to significant growth and reducing uncertainty is imperative. Therefore, Kardel strongly urged Congress to pass the USMCA this fall, as this should not be a partisan issue. Kardel mentioned that the turkey industry has a fantastic relationship with...
Analyzing Genomes to Improve Disease Control in Poultry
Marek's disease—a highly contagious viral disease caused by a herpesvirus—is a constant threat to poultry worldwide. It is also one of the most preventable diseases with vaccination. However, while vaccines prevent poultry from becoming sick with symptoms of the virus, they do not prevent virus spread and mutation—considered the main reason for increased virus virulence, or severity, in field strains in U.S. commercial flocks.
To help improve the control of Marek's disease, veterinary medical officer John Dunn and his team at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory in East Lansing, Michigan, analyzed Marek's disease genomes to find out which genes are mostly associated with virulence. They sequenced DNA from 70 virus strains, collected over the years from across the United States, and identified significant genetic variants...
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