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FAMILY poultry-keeping – where owners raise poultry in small numbers ranging from single birds up to a few hundred (FAO 2014) – accounts for up to 80 per cent of poultry stocks in low-income countries with food deficits (Pym and others 2006). Backyard poultry production includes extensive, semi-intensive and small-scale intensive operations and remains important in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific (FAO 2014). Village poultry, and chickens in particular, play a key role in many households across the globe and are frequently the only livestock under the control of women (Alders and Pym 2009, Bagnol and others 2013). Village chickens are the most common type of livestock kept at the household level and make a significant contribution to poverty alleviation, food security, HIV/AIDS mitigation, the empowerment of women and wildlife conservation in many countries (Alders and Pym 2009). Village poultry production is ideally suited to rural areas where the conditions for a successful commercial poultry sector are rarely met. Indigenous poultry breeds are excellent scavengers, transforming feed resources considered unsuitable for human consumption into high quality products such as poultry meat and eggs (Alders 2012).
Newcastle disease (ND) is considered to be one of the most important poultry diseases worldwide (Alexander and others 2004). It has a major impact on the welfare of chickens and the livelihoods of their owners. In many countries, vaccination against ND has been an essential component of intensive, commercial …
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