Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Belgium's AFSCA Announces Another H5N8 Outbreak


While Belgium was largely spared during this past winter's epizootic, two days ago in Belgium Reports More Outbreaks Of H5N8, we looked at a recent spate of HPAI outbreaks (in wild birds and poultry) they've reported over the past couple of weeks..  
Today, Belgium's AFSCA (Federal Agency For Food Safety) announces yet another outbreak, the 9th detection since June 1st..
Two weeks ago neighboring Luxembourg reported outbreaks in 3 poultry farms located in Keispelt, Niederfeulen and Schrassig, while in the UK DEFRA Reported An Outbreak Of HPAI H5N8 In Norfolk.

While greatly reduced, these outbreaks remind us that the HPAI H5N8 virus is still circulating in European birds, and that additional outbreaks are still possible, even during the summer months.

Avian influenza: further contamination of birds in Couvin - Measures (20/06/2017)

The highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza has been found again, this time in an amateur farming Couvin (Namur). Since June 1, the virus was found in 9 locations in Belgium. The AFSCA asks each holder of birds and especially to individuals who have recently purchased poultry market to be vigilant and call a veterinarian if their birds are sick or die suddenly.

A temporary buffer zone with a radius of 3 km was delineated in Couvin. In this zone, poultry movements, other captive birds and hatching eggs are prohibited. All captive birds and poultry should be fed and watered inside. Holders of birds and poultry in this area should send to the mayor, within 72 hours, an inventory which incorporates, by species, the number of animals present. This area must be at least 3 weeks.

Willy Borsus: " I recall that the sale of birds and poultry on public procurement is more than ever prohibited, as well as other gatherings (exhibitions, competitions, sales ...) poultry. My services are investigating and each new case detected is analyzed carefully. It would be catastrophic if the virus is spreading among professional breeders. I do not want the poultry sector is hit by new problems. "

The AFSCA also reminds each holder to be vigilant and to immediately call a veterinarian if his birds show symptoms of disease.

An abnormal mortality in wild birds can still be notified via the toll-free number 0800/99777.

We can reassure consumers: meat and poultry eggs are quite healthy and can be consumed safely.

The package of measures is available on the website of the FASFC:
- All information on avian influenza: www.afsca.be/santeanimale/grippeaviaire/

- For fans: www.favv.be/santeanimale/grippeaviaire/ detenteursamateurs.asp
Contact persons for the French press:
Johann Sebastian Walhin: 0476 88 50 77 (AFSCA)
Pauline Bievez: 0477 38 45 01 (Cabinet Minister Borsus)

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