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Poland records largest-ever bird flu outbreak

Over six million birds have been culled in the EU’s largest poultry producer as bird flu cases top 260.

3 May 2021, at 8:33am

Poland is currently contending with 262 outbreaks of bird flu, the country’s highest recorded number of infections. Reporting from Notes from Poland explains that over six million birds have been culled to stem the spread of the disease. Though poultry farmers can claim compensation for their losses, the hit to the country’s poultry industry, which produces 20% of the EU’s poultry meat, has been immense.

Animal health authorities believe that the outbreaks are due to the high concentration of poultry farms in certain locations. Poland’s chief veterinarian is calling on the government to update regulations to ensure greater biosecurity measures and that there is sufficient space between poultry farms.

“This is the first time we are facing such a great crisis,” Andrzej Danielak, from the Polish Association of Poultry Breeders and Producers said. “Until now, 65 outbreaks was the largest [annual] number, and here we have already exceeded 200.”

Prices for eggs and poultry meat in Poland have already increased 65% since November, and many economists expect the price hikes to continue. However, there could be some relief as the weather becomes warmer.

Read more about this story in Notes from Poland.