This is the fourth wave of the epidemic since 2015. Each time, millions of animals must be euthanized.
Since the start of the bird flu epizootic in November, 16 million poultry have been slaughtered in France, a record number of slaughters on the territory, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday. “The epidemic peak was passed at the end of March and the epizootic is decelerating”, however noted the ministry.
Since the first case recorded in the north of France at the end of November, 1,364 farms have been contaminated by the virus, including 857 outbreaks recorded in Vendée and in the neighboring departments, where the authorities empty the farms via mass slaughter of sick animals but as healthy, preventively.
3.5 million animals slaughtered last year
Ordinarily, crises linked to avian influenza remain generally confined to the South-West, in particular to duck farms intended for the production of foie gras. Last year, nearly 500 outbreaks were recorded in farms and 3.5 million animals, mainly ducks, slaughtered.
Avian influenza has a seasonal character. Transported by migrating birds from Asia, it usually begins to develop in October in Europe and continues until April. But for the first time, wild birds contaminated farms this year during their migration from southern countries, which led to a second wave, which is coming to an end. “It is especially the gallus – a variety of hen – which are affected”, indicates the ministry concerning this wave.
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