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High-Path Bird Flu Returns to Germany

17 December 2014

GERMANY - A turkey farm in Lower Saxony has been hit by the H5N8 highly pathogenic avian flu virus.

The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI), Federal Research Institute for Animal Health has confirmed that the outbreak of bird flu in Lower Saxony is the highly pathogenic agents H5N8 subtype, according to the federal agriculture ministry.

This is the same variant previously found in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Great Britain, the Netherlands and most recently, in Italy.

On 15 December, the authorities reported suspicions of avian influenza of an H5 type at a turkey growing operation in the district of Cloppenburg in Lower Saxony.

Federal Minister, Christian Schmidt, has again appealed to all poultry farmers, particularly in the region concerned, to take the necessary precautions to avoid that the avian influenza spreading.

He said: "In the interests of animals and humans, I appeal to all concerned to pay even closer attention to strict compliance with biosecurity measures. This applies to all company contacts, but also others. Since people represent a potential source of contamination, for example, poultry farmers must be careful when they visit other poultry farms or allow visitors to their premises."

To reduce the risk of spreading infection, any suspicious unclear illness or death in the flocks must be investigated as soon as possible, he said, and suspected cases of avian influenza may be reported to the competent veterinary authority.

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture is in close contact with the authorities in Lower Saxony over the necessary measures to slaughter affected animals and to protect against further spread of infection.

From what is known so far, the H5N8 virus type poses no danger to humans.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.


ThePoultrySite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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