Many More Bird Flu Outbreaks Reported Around Europe

EUROPE - As well as the big announcement in the past week that the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of avian flu had crossed the sea to reach a farm in the UK, many new outbreaks of the disease have been reported in other countries around Europe.
calendar icon 21 December 2016
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France has reported 15 outbreaks of the highly pathogenic version of the disease in the past week, as well as two outbreaks of the low pathogenic version of the disease. The outbreaks mainly affected duck farms in the south west of the country. In total over 52,000 birds were lost due to these outbreaks.

Germany has reported one outbreak in Lower Saxony, where over 8000 turkeys had to be culled. Two further outbreaks affected Saxony-Anhalt, where 10,000 ducks were destroyed, and North Rhine-Westphalia, where over 21,000 turkeys were culled.

In Serbia, 100 backyard birds were destroyed after one case was found in a flock in Kovilj. A further two outbreaks that were discovered on 10 December were reported on 16 December, also in Kovilj. In these outbreaks, 137 backyard birds were culled.

Hungary has reported 24 new outbreaks, mainly affecting ducks in the southern Bacs-Kiskun region of the country. Over 150,000 birds are affected by these outbreaks.

In Poland, a further 329 birds have died and another 671 have been destroyed after another outbreak in the Lubuskie region. Another two H5N8 outbreaks reported later occurred in Lubuskie and Podkarpackie, on the opposite eastern side of the country. Those two outbreaks resulted in the deaths of over 36,000 birds.

A number of wild birds have died from the disease in the Netherlands, but two commercial farms were also reported as infected to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Nearly 14,000 birds were lost on a duck fattening farm in Overijssel, and over 28,000 birds were destroyed on a layer farm in Friesland.

Ukraine's outbreaks affected two backyard holdings and several mute swans. Romania only had one bird affected in the past week - a wild Whooper swan in the Constanta region.

Further afield, 74 birds died in a backyard outbreak in southern Russia's Krasnodar Krai. Meanwhile in Iran, over 170,000 layers were destroyed because of H5N8 avian flu outbreaks in the Qom and East Azarbayejan regions. Wild birds in two wetland reserves in Iran were also affected.

The scale of the avian flu problem is huge, as emphasised by the large numbers of birds needing to be culled in these reports from the past week alone. Poultry farmers in hard-hit countries will need to work out where to go from here, and how to rebuild their industry.

Further Reading

You can visit the avian flu page by clicking here.

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