In December of 2015 (see DEFRA: Updated Outbreak Assessment On HPAI H5 In France) a series of new HPAI and LPAI avian viruses began to batter the poultry industry of Southwestern France.
Starting with a novel (European lineage) H5N1 virus, followed quickly by HPAI H5N2 and HPAI H5N9, along with LPAI H5N3 and H5N2 viruses - over the next 10 months 81 outbreaks of HPAI H5 and 19 outbreaks of LPAI H5 were reported to the EU Animal Disease Notification System.
A very bad year was made worse when- in the fall of 2016 - Europe's HPAI epizootic made its way into France as well, resulting in more than 500 outbreaks of H5N8 between early December and the end of March.
Since then, despite a large number of outbreaks of HPAI H5N8 in neighboring Italy and scattered reports in Switzerland, reports of avian flu in France have all but disappeared.Over the weekend, however, there have been media reports of a culling operation in Lot-et-Garonne. We've a media report from Sud Ouest indicating the virus has been identified as LPAI H5N3, a report which is further backed up by a release from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture (MAFF) announcing an import ban due to the outbreak in France.
Lot-et-Garonne: a farm affected by avian influenza and low pathogenic
A La Une The Essential
Published on 12/03/2017 at 4:50 p.m..
The results of the performed analyzes reveal the presence of H5N3 in ducks
Nothing like the H5N8 , highly pathogenic, which led last year to the slaughter of more than 3 million ducks in France. The results of additional analyzes performed after the suspected bird flu hovering since Friday on a farm in Monbahus, in Lot-et-Garonne are known .(Continue . . .)
The band 12 000 ducks is affected by bird flu but the H5N3 strain of low pathogenicity.
While an isolated incident for now, France's battered poultry industry is only just recovering from their 18-month-long bird flu nightmare which ended last summer, and so concerns are once again heightened.