Infotech Bird flu hits first French poultry farm

Bird flu hits first French poultry farm




Avian influenza, already spotted among wild birds and in some French backyards, has affected the first commercial breeding of laying hens in the north of the country, a further blow to the poultry industry.

“While avian influenza viruses are actively circulating in Europe via migratory birds, France detected on November 26 an outbreak due to a highly pathogenic strain (HPAI) in a laying hen farm located in the town de Warhem, in the Nord department ”, the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Saturday in a press release.

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This is the H5N1 virus, specifies the minister’s office questioned by AFP.

With this case in a breeding, France again loses its status “Unharmed” avian influenza, which she had just found on September 2, confirmed the same source. This should have “Consequences on certain export markets” of its poultry.

“Steps have been taken via the embassies to reassure the main importing countries of the sporadic nature at this stage of this event and the implementation of the usual management measures as provided for by European Union regulations”, adds the firm of Julien Denormandie.

France had already declared since the end of the summer four cases of avian flu among wild birds and three cases in backyards on the metropolitan territory.

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In Europe, 26 countries are currently affected by influenza viruses, affecting more than 400 outbreaks in breeding and 600 cases in wildlife, specifies the ministry.

The suspicion of infection in the Warhem farm follows a report of abnormal mortalities among the poultry on the farm. The complete analysis of the strain of the virus is currently underway at the national reference laboratory of ANSES, the French health authority.

“The consumption of meat does not present any risk for humans”

Sanitary measures have been taken. The hens will be slaughtered and the home will be disinfected. A protection zone (3 km around the outbreak) and a surveillance zone (10 km) have been set up by the prefect of the department. To avoid the risk of spreading the virus, the movement of poultry is prohibited in these areas where strict sanitary measures must be observed.

“The consumption of meat, foie gras and eggs – and more generally of any food product made from poultry – does not present any risk for humans”, says the ministry.

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At the beginning of November, as a precautionary measure, the government decided to re-define outdoor poultry to avoid contact with migratory birds likely to transmit this virus.

Last winter, avian influenza had spread like wildfire in farms in the South-West, a region famous for its foie gras. Nearly 500 had been affected between November 2020 and May 2021.

The epizootic had only been stopped at the cost of slaughtering more than 3.5 million poultry, mainly ducks.

400 outbreaks in breeding and 600 cases in wildlife

Recurrent health crises due to highly pathogenic avian influenza generate considerable costs for professionals and the State, and losses of the export market.

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However, for the moment, the consequences of France’s loss of its status “Unharmed” avian flu “Should not go beyond what was noted last year”, according to Julien Denormandie’s firm: “We have the assurance that a certain number of countries will continue to accept the introduction of French productions from other departments, thanks to what is called the recognition of zoning. “

France has spotted an outbreak of avian flu in a poultry farm in the Nord department, the first breeding outbreak identified since the epizootic last winter, the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Saturday.

As a result, she loses her status “Unharmed” avian influenza, the ministry told AFP. This can have consequences on the export outlets of its poultry.

“While avian influenza viruses are actively circulating in Europe through migratory birds, France detected on November 26 an outbreak due to a highly pathogenic strain in a laying hen farm located in the town of Warhem, in the Nord department “, the ministry said in a statement.

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The suspicion of infection follows a finding of abnormal mortalities among poultry on the farm. France had already declared since the end of the summer four cases of avian influenza in wildlife and three cases in backyards on the metropolitan territory. In Europe, 26 countries are currently affected by influenza viruses, affecting more than 400 outbreaks in breeding and 600 cases in wildlife, specifies the ministry.

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Sanitary measures have been taken. The hens will be slaughtered and the home will be disinfected. A protection zone (3 km around the home) and a surveillance zone (10 km) have been set up by the Prefect.



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