Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Aid Works - Ask Bill Gates!

Each year Bill Gates [ you know the guy - the Microsoft man!] writes a lengthy letter on work within the Foundation he and his wife now chair.

His predictions for 2035 are illuminating, and somewhat uplifting.  Read the full letter here - it is worthwhile - .

Basically, he has strong hopes that aid is working and that more and more of the world's poor are moving out of abject poverty.  And that health, disease control, water and sanitation are improving and quite significantly.  It is these community efforts that are making a difference, and the plight of the less fortunate in the world IS improving.

The naysayers of the world are regularly opposed to aid and support, and even Australia is reducing the aid monies available.  While governments are not the only donors around the world, they do tend to be among the more significant, although some philanthropic and charitable organisations are now doing more, and contributing more money and support.

Money is not everything, but it sure helps.

The basics we take for granted are often optional extras for many in the world.  Clean water, sanitation and access to health resources are not available to all.............yet.  But it is getting better.

If you believe someone like Bill Gates who is close to the scene........ do not give up hope, nor abandon support.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Composting Mortalities for Disease Control in Poultry Disease Outbreaks

This research improves the readiness of industry and government agencies to respond quickly to contain and eradicate emergency animal diseases in the Australian poultry industry.

The project investigated the feasibility of using composting for emergency poultry carcass disposal in Australia and validated the effectiveness of the process in eliminating Newcastle disease virus in poultry carcasses.

The project findings will assist the development of more robust emergency disease response procedures since the research that was undertaken simulated the scale and ‘real-world’ character of emergency mass mortality composting without compromising scientific integrity.

Composting of carcasses in mass livestock disease outbreaks has commonly been considered sceptically by many.  Yet, the physical conditions in well managed compost operations will achieve conditions that can eliminate disease organisms.

I am aware of work using the in vessel VCU technology conducted in the 1990s that was able to eliminate plant diseases by in vessel composting, as well as effectively transform poultry carcasses killed by a small outbreak of Newcastle disease in NSW into compost as well as eliminating the disease organism.

The timely work by lead author Kevin Wilkinson from Victoria, with a long connection with composting activities as well as government policy, shows it can be done on a large scale, a scale sufficient to handle a major disease outbreak.

The full document can be downloaded free from here -

Well done to RIRDC for supporting the work.

There are lessons here also for some of Australia's near neighbours in handling mass poultry disease outbreaks.  After all, composting is not that difficult, over expensive, nor logistically problematical and it works!!

Another big plus for composting as an organic low energy driven solution.