Disease Update 30th November – Avian Influenza in Europe
Please see below the update provided by the British Poultry Council.
Link to the EU map (excluding Romania) https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/safety/docs/ad_control-measures_hapai_chrono_2016_map.pdf
Link to revised Defra guidance on Biosecurity and preventing disease in captive birds. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/573077/captive-birds-biosecurity-preventing-disease-161129.pdf
- New Reported case in a wild bird in Romania – waiting for official OIE notification.
- 139 cases in wild birds..
- 33 confirmed outbreaks in captive poultry (most in backyard flocks).
- 16 in Hungary (unsure how many were indoor birds).
- 13 in Germany (2 cases in indoor poultry).
- 1 Austria, Denmark, Sweden (indoor unit), Netherlands (an indoor unit).
- Germany, Hungary, NL and Sweden have reported cases in indoor poultry.
- 12 countries affected: Austria, Netherlands, France, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Romania (new), Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Croatia.
- Germany and Netherlands have culled out any contact premises as well.
- 3 countries outside of Europe: Russia, Iran, Israel, India.
- Defra are seeking more epidemiological information from the outbreaks in Europe to further their knowledge of the virus and the reason it’s killing so many different types of wild birds. They are not sure yet how many species might be affected. This strain of H5 is the same Asian clade that caused high mortalities in wild birds in 2005 (H5N1).
- Defra see no reason to prevent game shoots or gatherings at this time.
Housing of free range poultry
Defra Ministers have decided not to impose a housing order at this time but they will continue to monitor the situation. Defra is listening to industry and the decision not to house has not been taken lightly. The risk to wild birds remains medium and for poultry low but heightened. When asked why H5N8 has not yet been found in wild birds in the UK, the Defra view is that possibly a number of infected wild birds may not have the required level of fitness to fly and are staying in their current locations.
The expert panel of ornithologists continue to monitor wild bird movements and say that 85% of migratory birds have now arrived in the UK. The peak period is December-January. A cold spell of weather in eastern or northern Europe might encourage more wild birds to make the journey to the UK. Members of the public and in particular those out on shoots should report any dead wild birds (ducks, geese, swans) to the Defra Helpline 03459 33 55 77.
If you would like to discuss any areas of this post, please do not hesitate to contact the practice.