Avian influenza: “Strengthening vigilance” in France

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AccueilSociété                                                                                                                 Poultry, illustration – Geoffrey Swaine / Shutter / SIPA             The Ministry of Agriculture called on Friday “to vigilance the actors of the hunting world and all holders of poultry “to prevent a new epizootic in France of highly pathogenic avian influenza ( H5N8), after the discovery of several foci in Europe and in particular in Germany. The last outbreak discovered in Germany “concerns a farmyard, located a hundred kilometers from the border with France. The origin of the outbreaks is not known with certainty but contamination, direct or indirect, by wild birds is likely according to experts, “the ministry said in a statement. Extreme vigilance required According to the health security agency (ANSES), “seized in emergency”, these homes do not bring “a significant increase in risk in France,” said the ministry. “The migratory birds currently present in the countries of Eastern Europe will migrate to the northeast and move away from France”, estimates ANSES according to the ministry, which adds however that this situation could be re- evaluated in the coming weeks, “depending on weather conditions”. The authorities therefore call for “extreme vigilance on the part of all stakeholders in the poultry sector, as well as individuals who own birds”, and for strict compliance with biosecurity measures on farms and during transport of poultry. “In addition, any unusual clinical sign must be immediately declared to a veterinarian,” added the ministry. France free for the moment “The surveillance of wild birds, conducted by the services of the French Office for Biodiversity with hunters (…) is reinforced throughout the national territory,” said the same source. The ministry recalls that France is to date “free from highly pathogenic avian influenza” and underlines that the return of this virus on the national territory “would have major economic consequences for the sector”, which could see closing the outlets to export. Previous deadly winters Duck breeders in the Southwest were hit twice, during the winters 2015 – 2016 and 2016 – 2017, by epizootics of avian flu, which had caused massive slaughter to eradicate the disease and cost farmers hundreds of millions of euros. Recently, the Rural Coordination had warned of a risk of return of this plague on French territory, after the outbreak of outbreaks in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, in particular.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
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