France strengthens support for avian influenza vaccination campaign

Ministry of Agriculture announces five important measures
calendar icon 19 July 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

French Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Marc Fesneau announced this week the financing of five important measures to complete the compensation scheme for vaccination against avian influenza. The state reaffirmed its support of the poultry sector, which was hard hit by avian influenza in 2022–2023. 

To best prepare for the vaccination campaign, and given the resurgence of the epidemic in May, a de-densification strategy targeting palmipeds is being implemented in Pays-de-la-Loire and Deux-Sèvres. The objective is to gradually reduce the density of ducks in farms until vaccination is implemented in order to limit the risk of the appearance of a new epizootic wave. This strategy is carried out in two stages: first, the gradual cessation from July 2023 of the establishment of unvaccinated ducks in 45 municipalities in Pays-de-la-Loire and Deux-Sèvres, then the establishment of only vaccinated ducks from October 2023. The measure also applies around about forty strategic sites for avian genetics. The economic losses of the farmers concerned by those not put in place as part of this de-densification strategy will be taken into account.

    In order to quickly relieve the treasury of farmers located in restricted areas affected by the 2022-2023 crisis, an opening of the advance system will be opened before July 21. This advance, up to a maximum of 50% of the estimated losses, will be paid over the water during the summer without waiting for the closing of the window set no later than September 15, 2023.

      In addition to the arrangements already arbitrated for breeders and slaughter and processing companies, MASA reaffirms its support for selection-breeding link companies and breeding herd farmers also affected by this epizootic. Subject to validation by the European Commission, the Ministry will deploy in autumn 2023, a compensation scheme that will cover 100% of the gross operating surplus (EBA) losses incurred during the months affected by the avian influenza epidemic when this loss is greater than 20%.

        The compensation scale for slaughtered poultry for the 2022-2023 crisis is upgraded from the production costs of the quarter that concentrated the most slaughters, i.e. the 4th quarter of 2022.

          Preparation for the deployment of the HPAI vaccination campaign continues in accordance with the announced schedule and takes a new step with the definition of the preferred vaccination schedule. Vaccination will be mandatory to all commercial duck farms (Beijing, Barbarie and Mulard) throughout the metropolitan territory (excluding Corsica), throughout the year.

          Vaccination will remain voluntary for breeding duck farms whose production (day-old birds or hatching eggs) is intended for national trade exclusively. Vaccination of breeding ducks whose products are intended for export is prohibited so as not to block certain export trade flows.

          Each vaccinated farm will have to be subject to precise health monitoring, through regular analyses and a monthly visit by the health veterinarian.

          MASA will participate in the success of the vaccination campaign by covering 85% of the total cost of this unprecedented and ambitious project.

          As a reminder, vaccination alone will not prevent a new epizootic. It is an additional prevention tool, in addition to the measures already implemented: compliance with biosecurity measures to all links in the sector; health surveillance guaranteeing early detection of the disease; a reduction in densities in livestock farming to limit the spread of the virus.

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