MSD Animal Health Introduces Innovative Program to Improve Poultry Respiratory Health

The Convenience Program – Improving Birds Breathing from the Beginning 

NANTES, FRANCE 22 August 2013 – MSD Animal Health (known as Merck Animal Health in the USA and Canada) today announced that it is introducing an innovative and unique advancement – the Convenience Program – that will help the poultry industry control respiratory diseases starting at the hatchery, improving their vaccination process and performance enhancement. The official launch occurred at the XVIIIth Congress of the World Veterinary Poultry Association, 19 – 20 August, in Nantes, France.

The Convenience Program is designed to meet the farmers’ current and future needs for process improvement and performance enhancement.

“Today, more than 70% of the broilers produced worldwide reach their targeted weight of 2.5 Kg at 42 days of age and the growth curve is speeding due to continuous genetic evolution, better feed formulation and stronger health conditions, said Laura Villarreal, MSD Global Marketing Director. “It is estimated that by 2020, the same number of broilers will reach that weight in 35 days, a full week less. This shortened growth cycle will reduce the time available for field vaccinations and mean there is no more time for vaccine failures and reactions.”

The Convenience Program starts in the hatchery; with choosing the right combinations of vaccines and the most favorable route of application. Together these factors reduce stress and improve the birds’ breathing from the beginning. “Conventional respiratory vaccines themselves may reduce flock performance due to reactions or cause incomplete protection and insufficient duration of immunity,” said Dr Rik Koopman, MSD Global Technical Director.

The method of vaccine timing introduced through the Convenience Program is to combine in-ovo and day-old vaccination application. This provides earlier and longer protection. MSD Animal Health has developed an effective range of vaccines with biological behaviors that allows them to be combined, without losing efficacy, and without producing adverse reactions.

To help implement the Convenience Program, MSD Animal Health will provide extensive support to ensure it delivers maximum impact on flock performance both in terms of flock health and cost savings. Respiratory disease protection is more than convenience; it is about efficacy and superior performance. With the Convenience Program, respiratory protection begins in the hatchery and so do the benefits.

About MSD Animal Health
Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. MSD Animal Health, known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit

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