International Egg and Poultry Review: Romania

By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week looking at Avian Influenza in Romania.
calendar icon 7 December 2005
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International Egg and Poultry Review - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week looking at Avian Influenza in Romania.

Avian Influenza in Romania

Romania's first outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) since 1942 was reported on October 7, 2005 by the Institute of Diagnostics and Animal Health, a national reference laboratory, and confirmed on October 16 to be H5N1 by VLA Weybridge, an OIE reference laboratory in the United Kingdom, for both duck and chicken samples tested. All 100 birds (58 laying hens and 42 ducks) on a single backyard farm located in the village of Ceamurlia-de-Jos of Tulcea County were destroyed. Control measures were taken (stamping out procedures, movement restrictions, screening, zoning, the disinfection of infected premises, and dipping and spraying practices.) A 3-km radius protection zone and a 10-km radius surveillance zone was established and a count of backyard premises and all poultry species susceptible was taken in each zone. By the morning of October 13, 2005, a total of 4,797 birds (4,009 hens, 318 ducks, 238 geese, and 232 turkey hens) from 72 backyard premises of the 420 tallied in Ceamurlia-de-Jos were destroyed and incinerated.

On October 14, another outbreak of HPAI was reported by the Institute for Diagnostics and Animal Health in the village Maliuc (537 swans) and on a backyard farm near Vulturu (46 hens and 2 turkey hens) located in Tulcea County. Tests from VLA Weybridge came back positive for H5N1 on October 16 for both the swan and chicken fluids tested. As of October 20, stamping out activities in Maliuc and Vulturu had been completed and a total of 3,562 domestic poultry had been destroyed; the outbreak in Ceamurlia-de-Jos was eradicated and a total of 18,626 domestic poultry were culled and incinerated.

On October 21, the avian influenza virus was detected in a heron found dead in an unpopulated area about 700 m from Prut River, close to the Moldavia border and about 50-km north of Scarlatesti, Romania. The virus found was later confirmed to be H5N1 subtype. Another case of H5N1 was confirmed in 2 geese and a swan, thought to have belonged to a flock of migratory birds, found dead about 1-km from the River Danube, close to Vadu-Oii locality on November 1.

On November 15, HPAI H5N1 was confirmed on some farms near Caraorman in Tulcea County. All 39 laying hens, 13 geese, 10 ducks and 2 turkeys were destroyed and incinerated. Control measures such as stamping out, quarantine and movement restrictions were established, and disinfection procedures were taken. In regards to Ceamurlia-de-Jos in Tulcea County, quarantine measures were lifted November 11 and the outbreak was declared extinguished November 21. Quarantine measures were also lifted and the area declared eradicated November 21 in Maliuc and Vulturu of Tulcea County. As of November 22, only a single outbreak remained in Romania in the Caraorman of Tulcea County.

On November 23, the EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health announced adjustments to import bans and biosecurity requirements placed on Croatia, Turkey, Romania, and Russia. For Croatia, the import ban will only apply to the counties of Viroviticko- Podravska and Osjecko-Baranjska, while for Turkey the ban on imports of feathers will be limited to the province of Balkesir. With regards to Romania, the restrictions on EU imports of live poultry will continue to apply to the whole country, but the ban on poultry meat and poultry meat products will be regionalized to cover the counties of Tulcea, Constanta, Galati, Braila, Ialomita, and Calarasi. In relation to Russia, the measures applicable until December 31 have been extended until March 31, 2006, while at the same time restrictions have been adapted for non-affected regions: Arkhangel'sk Oblast, Kaliningrad Oblast, Karelia Republic, Komi Republic, Kostroma Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Nenetsk Autonomosu District, Novgorod Oblast, Pskov Oblast, Saint Petersburg, Smolensk Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, Tver Oblast, Vologda Oblast, and Yarolsal Oblast.

Another outbreak of HPAI was reported in Scarlatesti on November 27, 2005. The area was quarantined after a turkey tested positive for subtype H5. Further tests are being conducted in Britain to determine if the virus is H5N1. In the meantime, all domestic birds (about 15,000) were to be culled and the area disinfected. On November 28, Romania fired two of its chief veterinarians from Braila County for mishandling the culling operation, as a television station showed junior veterinarians throwing live birds into an open fire during the culling campaign. Recently, the H5 virus was found in Periprava of Tulcea County, and in Bumbacari, Dudescu, and Ciocile of Braila County as of late last week. Further tests are in order and the area has been quarantined, birds culled and incinerated, and the residents vaccinated. So far no cases have been reported in humans.

A new veterinary regulation was recently approved by the Romanian Government and is set to become effective December 19, 2005. The new regulation will limit imports of US red meat as only EU approved red meat processing plants would be eligible to export for which there are only a few US processors approved for export. However this new regulation does not apply to live poultry and poultry meat. On the other hand another new regulation effective December 19, 2005 describing procedures for heat-treatment processing applied to meat and meat products found positive with Salmonella bacteria would apply to all red meat and poultry alike (see FAS Report RO5015.)
Source: OIE/Promed/European Commission Press Release/USDA FAS/ News Wires

To view the full report, including tables please click here (PDF Format)

Source: USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - 6th December 2005

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