Egg Industry News and Commentary

  —  Apr 5

Position of New Zealand in Supply of GP Stock to China


As noted in recent postings on CHICK-CITE, China banned imports of grandparent (GP) packages from the entire U.S. in 2013 allegedly due to sporadic outbreaks of avian influenza.  A similar ban has been extended to Spain which supplied approximately 300,000 packages in 2016.

Production of broilers in China has been impacted by the long-standing ban on the U.S. which supplied 90 percent of hybrid white-feathered broiler breeders.


As stated previously there is no scientific justification for the ban since China has an endemic avian influenza status with diverse strains prevalent in the industry.  The major primary breeders can supply from facilities which are now classified as compartments in terms of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) regulations.  In addition primary breeders operate farms and hatcheries in areas where the application of the OIE principle of regionalization would apply.

The justification for the ban placed by China on GP stock relates to pressure to obtain great grandparent stock from international primary breeders and has nothing to do with protection against avian influenza.

New Zealand has become an accidental beneficiary of the intransigent and cynical policy exercised by China.  New Zealand has been free of avian influenza based on its geographic location which lies outside the flyways of migratory birds.

New Zealand exported 200,000 packages of grandparent stock to China in 2016 but facilities are limited and unless new housing and hatcheries are erected, the nation will not be able to substitute for the U.S. and the EU.

A further complication is that breeding stock from New Zealand is free of maternal antibodies against IBD, ND, IB and other avian infections.  This complicates vaccination in other than pristine and high-biosecurity facilities.  Experience has shown that management of vaccination programs is extremely difficult unless imported stock is held in virtual SPF-style housing until six weeks of age with appropriate immunization.

Both Aviagen and Cobb-Vantress operate breeding facilities in New Zealand which can produce grandparent stock indicating that that Nation has repositories of great-grandparent level breeders as an obvious safety factor.