After hitting the north and south-west of France this winter, the avian flu epizootic has been picking up again for a fortnight in the Great West.
The outbreak is such that the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Friday, the day after a crisis meeting, a new campaign of massive preventive slaughter of poultry.
The goal is to finally circumscribe this epidemic wave, the first cases of which were detected at the end of November.
In Vendée, where the virus is actively circulating at the moment, the number of outbreaks has soared, going from 58 farms at the beginning of March to 187 at the last score.
Avian flu, a recurring nightmare for the poultry industry
More than 1.2 million animals, mainly ducks, have already been slaughtered in the area.
"It is estimated that there are still 3 million animals that remain to be slaughtered"
in the area, said the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday.
These will be added to the 4 million poultry already euthanized in recent months in other regions.
These crawl spaces aim to completely clean up the contaminated areas before returning to production.
Like what will be done, from March 29, in the Southwest.
This new wave of slaughter will not be without consequences for a sector already weakened by three waves of avian flu since 2016. With, each time, millions of euros in losses for producers, which the State largely compensates .
In 2021, the drop in production linked to the epizootic had been cushioned by the stocks of foie gras accumulated due to the closure of restaurants.
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This will not be the case this year.
"This unexpected rebound of avian influenza risks profoundly reducing the availability of foie gras, like other poultry products",
thus explained to AFP the interprofession Cifog.
Party menus won't be the only ones affected.
On the side of industrialists of cakes, biscuits and bread-making, we thus underline the difficulties in obtaining supplies of eggs.
The West is indeed very dense in poultry, and not only in ducks.