Farms without ducks or poultry from Thursday, for a month, in 68 municipalities of the Landes, Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Gers, this is what provides for an unprecedented crawl space supposed to stem the epizootic of avian flu in these departments .
On the initiative of inter-professional organizations such as Cifog (foie gras) and Anvol (broiler), the "Adour Plan" requires that between December 15 and January 15, the municipalities of these three departments of the South- West, concerned by a high animal density, are
or almost of their poultry.
Struck by four successive waves of the disease, the breeders came to the conclusion
"that there were too many birds together in the same place, at the same time"
, explains Marie-Pierre Pé, general manager of Cifog.
With a peak of tension on December 15,
"systematic runaway moment"
Thanks to this anticipated depopulation, professionals, aware that they cannot
the introduction of the H5N1 virus, hope to avoid its spread.
"We can't have a fire that we wouldn't control"
, sums up the president of Cifog.
Read alsoAvian flu: the State asks to empty poultry farms in the West as a preventive measure
The Adour Plan, accompanied by compensation announced by the government, is expected as a
“resilience tool to get through the winter”
and avoid the millions of slaughters of the last epizootic.
According to a census by the Ministry of Agriculture, approximately 21.8 million animals (palmipeds and poultry) were euthanized in France from August 2021 to May 2022. The exceptionally early resurgence of the epizootic this summer, with 164 outbreaks in breeding recorded since August 1, has already led to nearly 1.3 million slaughters, according to the latest official figures.
No case has been reported for the time being in the farms of the three departments concerned by the Adour Plan.
At the same time, an experiment conducted by the Directorate General for Food is expected in early 2023 within so-called autarkic farms, with low densities.
In this production model, the duckling no longer leaves the farm until it is transformed into a finished product.
“We are not spreaders of the virus”
, estimates Julen Perez, breeder in the Basque Country, affected by a slaughter of all his ducks in January 2022. “Pilot” farms in autarky will thus be selected to study their functioning and interactions. with the environment,
"in the face of a virus that has become endemic"
, underlines the breeder.