Avian flu outbreak continues, concerns for the sector
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Bird flu continues to progress in France: 4.6 million poultry have been culled since summer 2022. The virus particularly affects the Pays-de-la-Loire region, the second largest French poultry production region after Brittany.
More than a million birds have been slaughtered in a month. The epidemic continues to accelerate, the previous evaluation of the epizootic reported, as of December 22, the slaughter of 3.3 million birds. As in the spring, the virus hit hard in the Pays-de-la-Loire region (west), the second largest French poultry production area after Brittany. The discovery of new cases is slowing down in this region, but outbreaks are emerging in the southwest, particularly in the Landes and the Gers, historical bastions of foie gras. In total, the authorities have identified 286 outbreaks in cattle, including 120 in the Vendée, since August 1, which marks the start of the 2022-2023 epizootic.
France is now the country with the most breeding households, ahead of the UK and Hungary. But the pandemic is also affecting 29 European countries to varying degrees, says the French platform for epidemiological surveillance in animal health (ESA). From October 2021 to September 2022, more than 50 million poultry were culled on infected European farms, according to European health authorities. A report that does not include the preventive slaughter of healthy animals around the outbreaks.
The only ray of hope for breeders: the government announced on December 23 a first vaccination campaign in autumn 2023 to reactivate the sector.
(And with AFP)