Increased risk level associated with highly pathogenic avian influenza: a wake-up call for cohort poultry farmers.
Since the end of July 2021, 9 countries have reported outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza to the International Organization for Animal Health (OIE). In Europe (Germany, Italy, France, etc.), the number of cases of infection (H5N8, H5N1) in wildlife and poultry farms continues to increase. Three infected backyards were identified in the Ardennes and Aisne provinces and six outbreaks were detected in broiler turkey farms in Italy.
Faced with this situation, the level of risk of entry of wild birds to this virus has been raised from moderate to high by Ministerial Decree of November 4, 2021 with the obligatory application of the following preventive measures throughout the national territory and counties :
Shelter poultry from commercial farms and confine them in an enclosed building or protect poultry by netting in the backyard, while minimizing external routes to birds. Exemptions are possible but only for professionals and under health conditions.
Prohibition of collecting birds (eg competitions, fairs or exhibitions).
Improving conditions for the transportation and release of game birds.
Prohibition of the use of traps (captive birds are used to attract their congeners);
Banning pigeon racing competitions leaving or arriving in France until March 31, 2022.
Compulsory vaccination in zoos of birds that cannot be confined or protected under nets. These preventive measures should be accompanied by daily clinical monitoring on farms (commercial and non-commercial).
Finally, so-called biosecurity measures should be applied everywhere and at all times by poultry farmers to avoid contamination of their animals: in particular, the sheltering of wild birds from litter and watering and feeding points used by poultry.
If carcasses of wild birds are discovered, the instruction is not to touch them and to inform the French Biodiversity Office (OFB: 03 29 08 29 27) or the Fishermen’s Union (FDC: 03 29 31 10 74), as part of their mission to monitor wildlife.
Any abnormal mortalities or any suspicious symptoms in poultry farmers should be reported without delay to the veterinarian or the DDETSPP (03 29 68 48 68). In Vosges, 80 professional poultry farms are declared, including 50 poultry farms with access to outdoor (“outdoor poultry”) courses. Few farms located in areas said to be at particular risk (Châtillon-sur-Saône, Grenoncourt, Amoville). The poultry sector is on the rise in the department.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is a highly contagious and viral animal disease of birds.
The state calls for strict adherence to biosecurity measures and increased monitoring by professional bodies, individuals who keep birds, and hunters..
So far, France is free of bird flu. Eating meat, fatty liver and eggs does not pose any danger to humans.
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