Lower Saxony – Near Dutch Border – Credit Wikipedia
After the announcement on Saturday (see Germany: 2nd H5N8 Outbreak In Lower Saxony) of Germany’s 3rd farm to be impacted by the H5N8 virus, followed closely by a report of a wild duck in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt likewise infected, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) has announced new stringent regulations on the raising, sale, and transport of ducks and geese within the country.
Unlike chickens and turkeys, ducks and geese (and waterfowl in general) are less apt to show outward signs of infection with avian flu viruses, and so recent testing is now required prior to transport and slaughter.
The concern at this time is over the potential to spread the H5N8 virus to other poultry holdings via the transporting of asymptomatic ducks and geese, rather than any serious human health threat.
This (machine translated) press release from the BMEL.
Press release no. 336, 22/12/14
Federal Agriculture Minister Schmidt shall express regulation for protection against avian influenza
Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt has signed a rush Regulation on Monday, with all the ducks and geese holders are obliged to examine your animal populations for the presence of avian influenza prior to transport. Only with a negative test result, the animals can be transported and slaughtered.
At the time of shipment, the sampling must not be older than seven days. The Regulation shall enter into force on Tuesday at 0.00 clock and applies nationwide by 31st March 2015th The associations of the poultry industry had promised to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture at the weekend to implement the proposed investigation obligation immediately.
"Ducks and geese, in contrast to turkeys and chickens no signs of illness, if they have been infected with the highly infectious virus H5N8. The risk of undetected infected animals are transported and the spread of disease vehicle and personal contacts may be reproduced, is therefore high, "said Minister Schmidt. "This measure is intended to protect our livestock", as Schmidt added.
In the last week of Avian Influenza Virus was first detected in a Lower Saxony turkey fattening farm and then ducks in a pig farm, also in Lower Saxony. Between the two companies was no contact. Experts have previously assumed that the most likely causes of the spread of the pathogen are migratory. As the pathogen has entered the livestock numbers, is still the subject of ongoing investigations.
There is no evidence that the H5N8 virus is transmitted to humans worldwide. Consumers should generally comply with strict kitchen hygiene rules when preparing poultry and poultry eat only cooked through. To protect against animal diseases are beyond raw meat scraps principle in your household trash and not in the organic waste still on the compost heap.