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Avian flu, a recurring nightmare for the poultry industry


Since 2006 and the first case detected, avian flu has not ceased to rage in France. A look back at the important moments that led to the slaughter of several million poultry.

The avian flu epidemic which started in the north of France in the fall before spreading to the South-West then to the West, will force the slaughter of several million poultry according to the government.

Reminder of the main episodes of avian flu in France since 2006.

2006: Ain, first episode

A first case of infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus (avian influenza) was confirmed in France in a wild duck found dead in Ain on February 18, 2006.

Read alsoAgriculture: these small sectors which relocate their production to France

This type of virus is all the more worrying since it can be transmitted to humans after direct and prolonged contact with poultry and since it has caused the death of several dozen people in Asia since its appearance in Hong Kong. in 1997 and its re-emergence in 2003 in Southeast Asia.

On February 23, the presence of H5N1 was confirmed in a farm of 11,000 turkeys in the same department.

The animals are euthanized.

2007: reappearance in the East

The H5N1 virus is the cause of the death of three swans discovered in July in Moselle.

The government is strengthening preventive measures against the risk of contamination of farms.

2015-2016: the South West hit

An outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in a barnyard in Biras in the Dordogne is announced on November 25, 2015. Restrictions for transport and export are imposed while several countries including Japan stop importing French poultry and its products like foie gras.

Read alsoBird flu spreads in the Pays de la Loire

New foci are discovered in the Southwest.

On January 14, 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that farms in the South West will have to freeze their production to eradicate the disease.

A “

crawl space

” system has been put in place, ie a period of several weeks without any poultry on the farms before resuming activity.

2016-2017: H5N8 strain

On November 28, 2016, a case of avian flu, this time of the H5N8 strain, highly pathogenic for birds but not transmissible to humans, was confirmed in wild ducks in Pas-de-Calais.

A few days later, outbreaks were detected in farms in several departments of the South-West.

On January 4, 2017, the government decided to slaughter hundreds of thousands of ducks reared in the open air in 150 municipalities in the South West.

On February 21, he announced the slaughter of 360,000 breeding ducks in the Landes.

The preventive slaughter measure was then extended to 700 municipalities in Gers, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées and Haute-Garonne, then followed in the spring by a period of “



The end of the epidemic is officially declared in France on May 5.

2020-2021: oil spot in the South West

An alert is launched in the fall of 2020 due to the passage of migratory birds potentially carrying the H5N8 virus.

Read alsoAvian flu: more than 4 million poultry slaughtered but “prospects for recovery” of breeding

On December 8, a first duck farm in the Landes was officially contaminated with H5N8.

Despite systematic slaughter, the epidemic is spreading, affecting a total of 15 departments, mainly in the Southwest, and forcing the slaughter of 3.5 million poultry.

End of 2021: the North then the South-West

In September 2021, cases were detected in farmyards in the Ardennes and Aisne.

On November 5, confinement was ordered for all poultry farms in mainland France to avoid contamination by migratory birds.

On the 27th, a first outbreak was announced in a laying hen farm in Warhem, in the North.

On December 17, the ministry announced a first outbreak in a duck farm in the Gers.

The epidemic then quickly spread to other farms in Gers, Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

Early 2022: new fellings

The Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie estimated on January 7, 2022 that there would be “

no other solution in the long term

” than to vaccinate farms against this disease.

Read alsoAvian flu: nearly a thousand outbreaks in farms in Europe

As of January 17, more than 200 farms are affected in France, including nearly 150 in the Landes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

As of February 24, the ministry indicates that more than four million poultry have been sacrificed since the start of this crisis but that the epizootic “

tends to stabilize in the Southwest


However, the epidemic spread in February and March in the Great West, in particular in Vendée with 187 farms affected in this department (report as of March 10).

We have eliminated around 1.2 million animals and it is estimated that we still have three million animals that remain to be slaughtered

” in the region, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-03-11

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