The disease continues to progress in France, with more than one million poultry euthanized in one month.
Bird flu continues to progress in France, with more than a million poultry euthanized in one month, bringing the balance sheet to 4.6 million since the summer, AFP learned Tuesday from the Ministry of Agriculture. The previous assessment of this epizootic reported on December 22 the slaughter of 3.3 million poultry.
As last spring, the virus hit hard in the Pays de la Loire region, the second largest production area for French poultry after Brittany. The discovery of new cases is slowing down in this region but outbreaks are emerging in the South-West, in particular in the Landes and Gers, historic strongholds of foie gras. In total, 286 outbreaks in livestock, including 120 in Vendée, have been identified by the authorities since August 1, which marks the start of the 2022-2023 epizootic.
The 2021-2022 wave, between the end of November 2021 and mid-May 2022, led to the euthanasia of more than 20 million poultry in France, the worst crisis ever recorded in this sector. In Europe, 29 countries have detected avian flu on their soil since August 1, notes the French platform for epidemiological surveillance in animal health (ESA). From October 2021 to September 2022, more than 50 million poultry were euthanized on infected European farms, according to European health authorities. A report that does not include the preventive slaughter of healthy animals around the outbreaks.
France is now the country with the most breeding households, ahead of the United Kingdom and Hungary. To limit the slaughter, the State asked to reduce the number of poultry present simultaneously in areas of western France. Animals were sent to the slaughterhouse early to prevent them from becoming infected and therefore lost for human consumption. Breeders must also wait before welcoming new chicks and ducklings. In Vendée, “there are very few ducks, chickens and turkeys left,” Christian Drouin, a breeder who has not produced any chicken since the end of September, told AFP.