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Nova-Tech Infrared Beak Treatment


Recently Jim Sieben, President of Nova-Tech Engineering updated industry participants with information on patented infrared beak treatment.

EGG-CITE is posting the PowerPoint presentation for the benefit and information of subscribers and readers.

The following points were emphasized in the presentation and should be read in conjunction with the Power Point slides:-
• Beak treatment when applied in accordance with approved procedures and standards reduces aggression, enhances feed conversion efficiency and livability and optimizes the return from flocks, thereby enhancing sustainability and return on investment.
• Nova-Tech infrared beak treatment is humane, does not result in any irreversible damage to sensitive tissues of the beak and the process can be controlled at the hatchery. This promotes flock uniformity and growth. Hatchery beak treatment obviates introduction of debeaking teams onto farms which represent a biosecurity hazard.
• Studies conducted in the EU showed a significant benefit over cost ratio for chicks treated at the hatchery as a result of improved feed conversion and flock production.
• Large supermarket chains in the EU have developed codes of welfare which involve all aspects of the supply chain and require compliance with conditions specifying welfare, sustainability, environmental compliance, traceability and safety. In the U.S. the National Chicken Council, United Egg Producers and the National Turkey Federation publish welfare guidelines which are revised at intervals on the advice of independent panels of scientists.
• Jim Sieben emphasized in his presentation that there is a need to base policy decisions relating to beak treatment on sound scientific principles. Beak trim can be evaluated against alternatives including no-treatment and conventional hot-blade beak trimming by histological examination of maxillary and mandibular tissues and statistical analysis of production records. It is the opinion of EGG-CITE that politicians and Ministers of Agriculture in EU member states are attempting to “out-welfare” their counterparts. Their decisions are based less on science than the influence of pressure groups intent on opposing intensive livestock production by advancing anthropomorphic and subjective arguments to ban any form of beak treatment , oblivious of the consequences.
• EU nations have announced their intention to disallow beak trimming using any procedure which is considered to be a “mutilation”.  Nations which have established target dates for termination of beak trimming include Germany, Denmark and the UK in 2016 and the Netherlands in 2018.  In some countries producer-groups are opposing the regulations based on the certainty that flocks with entire beaks will demonstrate aggression and will record higher mortality from cannibalism and peck-out and will be less efficient with respect to feed conversion.
• Nova-Tech Engineering is a supporter of the International Poultry Welfare Coalition.  This group includes primary breeding companies, producers of eggs, broilers, turkeys and ducks, equipment manufacturers and allied industries.  Research institutions, trade associations and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders are involved, working to establish high standards of welfare.  The Coalition bases their recommendations on evidence-based science and is also involved in media outreach and public engagement.  The Coalition will serve as a resource for information on poultry welfare.  In view of impending restrictions on beak trimming, the Coalition will provide information on the benefits of beak treatment which is a distinct process from hot-blade beak trimming or worse, severe de-beaking.
• Information on the International Poultry Welfare Coalition is available on the web.