The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has signed an agreement with ACDI/VOCA to provide technical assistance regarding the recent highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks internationally.

The two organizations will assist in recruiting U.S. poultry health experts who will provide technical assistance to countries fighting HPAI.

According to Elizabeth Krushinskie, vice president of food safety and production programs at USPOULTRY, "We are working with ACDI/VOCA and U.S. government agencies to coordinate the recruitment, training and equipping of veterinary experts from the U.S. poultry industry to support the international efforts to stamp out the Asian HPAI (H5N1) virus in birds."

USPOULTRY's initial focus will be helping to develop a pool of poultry industry experts who will be available for rapid deployment to foreign countries to assist with the ever-growing HPAI prevention, diagnosis and response needs. These individuals will be trained in cooperation with U.S. government agencies responsible participating in the eradication efforts.

"This is a great opportunity for the U.S. poultry industry to contribute to the HPAI eradication efforts overseas with the objective of eliminating the disease before it becomes a significant issue for us," she said. "We have some of the most highly trained poultry health experts here in the United States and we are willing and ready to step up to the plate and provide assistance in the fight against this virus. HPAI is a significant animal agriculture disease as well as a human health threat and must be eradicated at the source as soon as possible."

Formed in 1947, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is the world's largest and most active poultry organization where all segments of the poultry industry are represented. The association is devoted to the progress and welfare of the poultry industry, both domestically and internationally.

ACDI/VOCA is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes broad-based economic growth and the development of civil society in emerging democracies and developing countries. Offering a comprehensive range of technical assistance services, ACDI/VOCA creates sustainable wealth by supporting increased agribusiness productivity, growth, and competitiveness.

USPOULTRY news release.