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Review Article

Turkey Production and Health: Current challenges

Hafez M. Hafez, Awad A Shehata.

Several factors and problems are influencing turkey production and health. These include intense global competition between producing countries, permanent changes in social, political and consumer perceptions regarding food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection. Several human foodborne infections are linked to poultry and poultry products, causing a serious challenge because it is difficult to control. Moreover, contamination of the turkey meat and product with antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a constant public health hazard. The loss of consumer confidence and trust in turkey meat product safety and quality will also be a major concern. The current and future turkey health concepts should cover the control of diseases in birds and the relationship between bird’s health, welfare and environmental protection. Additionally, infectious turkey diseases' emergence and re-emergence will remain an important and never-ending challenge. Only a few authorized pharmaceutical veterinary products are available to treat turkeys. The development of efficient vaccines and natural antimicrobials against bacterial infections will reduce antibiotic use and reduce resistant bacteria's development. Genetic selective breeding to improve production traits and health is a long-standing goal of the turkey industry. Furthermore, rearing technology, management, and feeding will help maintain the birds healthy and comfortable. Finally, all other partners involved in the production chain, including farmers, veterinarians, stockholders, need to collaborate to meet the consumer expectations for high quality and safe products

Key words: Turkey production, Consumer expectations, Diseases prevention and control, Legislations, SARS-CoV-2

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