Seven weeks ago, after witnessing 95 farm outbreaks of H5N8 in just over a month's time, France's MOA has decided to begin a prophylactic cull of nearly all `healthy web-footed birds bred outdoors' in the three hardest hit departments (Gers, Landes, and Haute-Pyrenees).
Despite preemptive culling of more than 1 million healthy birds, in addition to the loss of more than 1 million birds from infected flocks, H5N8 continues to spread at remarkable speed.
Over the past three weeks the total number of infected farms has jumped by over 50%; from 200 to over 300 (see MOA report below). Hardest hit has been the French department of Landes, which has seen the number of outbreaks more than double over the past 21 days.
Overnight the French Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll announced that the remaining ducks in Landes would be culled, in another attempt to stop the virus.
This report from the French Radio Network RFI.
France to slaughter 600,000 more ducks in bird flu fight
By RFI Issued on 21-02-2017 Modified 21-02-2017 to 11:21
The French government has ordered a cull of all 600,000 surviving ducks in the south-western Landes region, where 25 percent of France's foie gras is produced - the latest move in the fight against a bird flu epidemic that has hit farmers as they recovered from previous outbreaks.
Some 1.9 million ducks and geese have already been culled and a further 1.3 million have died in this year's outbreak of the H5N8 virus in France and Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll announced Tuesday that the 600,000 surviving in the Landes will be slaughtered.
(Continue . . . )
In addition to these H5N8 outbreaks we've also seen a handful of of other HPAI detections, including H5N5 and H5N9, along with numerous Low Path (LPAI) subtypes over the past couple of months.
The most recent MOA report follows:
H5N8 avian influenza: monitoring the spread of the virus in farms and wildlife
20/02/2017 avian influenza
© Pascal Xicluna / Min.Agri.Fr
Situation as at 20 February 2017: 306 H5N8 outbreaks in farms and 28 cases in wildlife confirmed and communicated.
Learn more about the epidemiological surveillance Animal Health platform .
List of homes in the departments
- Landes: 151
- Tarn : 8
- Gers : 94
- Lot-et-Garonne: 7
- Hautes-Pyrénées: 25
- Pyrénées-Atlantiques: 15
- Aveyron : 2
- Deux-Sèvres: 3
- Lot: 1
List of cases in wildlife
- Pas-de-Calais: 1
- Haute-Savoie: 2
- Tarn : 2
- Manche: 1
- Ain : 7
- Lot-et-Garonne: 1
- Country: 3
- Gers : 7
- Loire-Atlantique: 1
- Pyrénées-Atlantiques: 2
- Vosges : 1