aviculture au maroc


study of poultry projects








Moroccan chicken refused on the European market



- Criticisms of the gaps in traceability and sanitary conditions

- Holes in surveillance for avian influenza and Newcastle disease

- The weakness of Onssa is blamed



92% of chicken production in Morocco escapes all control and transits through the informal sector. The parallel circuit of the poultry sector would count nearly 15,000 killings carried out without prior health authorization


Morocco has just applied to be allowed to export poultry meat products to the EU. Except that any third country wishing to export this type of animal product must be subject to an audit by the EU in order to assess the technical skills of the veterinary services of the competent authorities and the effectiveness of their control systems.

From 11 to 22 September last, EU inspectors visited Morocco to verify, among other things, the measures taken by Onssa in terms of health safety of poultry meat products since an initial audit (carried out from 6 to 14 March 2017) on the upstream side of the poultry sector (1). At the end of this audit, somewhat skeptical conclusions on Onssa's health control systems had been drawn up by EU experts. A concise press release from Onssa, dated September 30, simply said "that the EU experts' verification mission had gone well."



However, the conclusions of the audit last March could not have been more discouraging: "The conditions are not fully in place for health certification of farms producing poultry meat for the export of meat products to the EU" , say EU experts in the report. And, as usually happens with EU audits in third countries, the requesting country is entitled to a catch-up session. He is then invited to rectify the non-conformities observed by European experts and, above all, to undertake to implement the actions necessary to obtain the authorizations required for export to the Community market.


Abandoned corpses

As for surveillance, control and eradication of Avian Influenza (AI) and Newcastle Disease (MN) (Avian Plague), EU inspectors noted that 'resulting from their audit of March 2017- that the organization of certain aspects of surveillance in animal husbandry' limited the scope of official controls to verify the application of early detection standards'. According to the report, the follow-up carried out during the discovery in the wild of thousands of poultry corpses in 2016 (probably from commercial farms) "cast doubts on the effective capacity of these controls". EU experts considered that the ND surveillance system currently in place "did not allow competent authorities to identify and notify possible sources of infection", in particular because of the absence and definition regulation of the disease and effective analyzes of suspected diseases. The audit also found that for the IM, only the Casablanca laboratory was equipped to carry out tests on this disease.

Poorly monitored and uncontrolled diseases

On a completely different level, that of the requirements relating to the control of the movements of live poultry, the EU experts had also pointed out weaknesses in the traceability and sanitary conditions of the transport of poultry and the absence of a national database which could facilitate these controls. According to the EU, these shortcomings "limited the capacity to control outbreaks of communicable diseases". Experts also noted that backyard poultry and traditional killings were not under the control of Onssa at all. In addition, carriers were not required to keep records of their activities, in addition to the lack of standards related to poultry transportation documents.

Official control

Responding to the recommendations of EU experts, Onssa has undertaken to remedy the shortcomings noted by proposing an action plan oriented in this direction (2). On the need to define the virus making it possible to identify any case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), Onssa released the draft ministerial decree which had been developed and already put into the validation and publication circuit - before even the arrival of European inspectors in Morocco. This definition takes into account the new lexicon of the IAHP in particular of the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) and at the same time, it should make it possible to update the amounts of compensation for poultry farmers and to encourage them to declare the disease in case of suspicion.
For the identification of outbreaks of Newcastle disease, Onssa specified that the same ministerial decree would clearly define the disease, the surveillance system and the additional and special measures to combat the disease as well as the specific animal health measures to be applied in the event of an outbreak of disease, including compensation to be paid to farmers in the event of stamping out. As for laboratories, the Office specifies that a procedure for the recognition of private laboratories, for certain types of animal health analyzes, was being developed.
This procedure is supposed to make private labs responsible and commit them to notify Onssa of the results of their analytical investigations with regard to certain animal diseases, in particular ND. With regard to the breeding registers making it possible to ensure compliance with the standards of notification to the competent authority and official controls which would provide assurance of their correct application, the Moroccan Office assures that a note to this effect should be forwarded to the National Order of Veterinarians and its regional offices.
As for the annual programs for official control of poultry units, they should be defined in consultation with the provincial veterinary services, taking into account the importance of the poultry sector in terms of their scope of action. The agency also said that a national census of livestock units was underway. It should give a more precise idea of ​​their location as well as the number of poultry, estimated at around 27 million heads.

(1) A final audit is scheduled for December 2017 to assess the end of the poultry sector (slaughter, preparation and processing establishments for poultry meat).
(2) Action plan which is currently being evaluated by the European Commission which is monitoring its implementation through a number of follow-up activities.



L'Economiste Par Aziz BEN MARZOUQ | Edition N°:5122 Le 09/10/2017