Avian flu: Faced with 'high' risks in France, breeders must lock up their poultry

French breeders very quickly will have to limit their poultry. Agriculture and Food Minister Julian Dinormandy has declared the entire region at a “significant” risk, while the bird flu virus is spreading aggressively in Europe. Currently, three contaminated backyards have been identified in the Ardennes and Essen counties, said a press release from the Department of Agriculture Friday.

This increase in the level of risk indicates that all poultry farms confine their animals to avoid contact with migratory birds, which are likely to carry the virus. This has also been the case in the Netherlands since last week.

The government therefore hopes to avoid a repeat of last winter: France has identified nearly 500 outbreaks of bird flu in poultry farms, especially in the southwest known for foie gras production. The crisis can only be stopped at the cost of slaughtering more than 3.5 million chickens, mostly ducks.

130 outbreaks detected in Europe

From now on, it is necessary to house poultry in farms (and is no longer in the open air), gatherings of birds (for competitions) are prohibited, vaccination has become mandatory in zoos for young people. Birds that cannot be confined or protected under netting. These actions should be accompanied by daily monitoring on all farms. Samples will be taken in areas at risk of publication.

Since the beginning of August, 130 cases or outbreaks of bird flu have been detected in wildlife or on farms in Europe in particular through the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The risk level had already risen to “moderate” on September 10th. So the breeders located in nearly 6000 municipalities have had to confine their poultry, particularly along the Atlantic coast and the Rhone Pass – wetlands valued by migratory birds.

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