In a recent assessment of bird flu during the 2021-202 season, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) describes it as the worst such epidemic in Europe. The HPAI virus has been detected in poultry, captive birds, and hunting species at approximately 5,300 sites in 36 countries. Of these, 2,398 outbreaks affected poultry and 46 million birds.
Although the report covers the period from March to June 2022, EFSA states that the HPAI epidemic is still ongoing. In addition, the persistence of the H5 virus (mainly the H5N1 serotype) suggests that the infection may be endemic to wild birds. This means that the health risks of this HPAI virus family pose a year-round threat to European poultry, wildlife, and humans. During the period from 16 March to 10 June, EFSA analysis showed that 1,182 HPAI viruses were detected in 28 European countries. Of these, 750 were poultry, 410 were wild birds, and 22 were captive birds. According to EFSA analysis, 86% of poultry outbreaks were secondary infections.
In other words, it was a farm-to-farm transfer. Before the next fall / fall bird flu season, EFSA calls for the implementation of “appropriate and sustainable” mitigation strategies. This includes monitoring for early detection and effective biosecurity measures. Looking further ahead, the agency proposes to consider poultry densities in areas at high risk of HPAI. During the past season, there were few confirmed influenza infections in the European population. However, EFSA emphasizes that studies of cases of wild mammals such as Canadian, US, and Japanese foxes suggest that the H5N1 serotype has genetic markers for adaptation to mammalian replication. doing.
More on bird flu: Latest on bird flu outbreak in the Middle East
Bird flu cases have recently dropped
Cases of European poultry are declining again As of July 3, this year, 1,766 HPAI outbreaks have been registered across Europe, based on the latest updates to the European Commission’s (EC) Animal Disease Information System. So far, more than one outbreak has occurred in 20 European countries during this period. For comparison with , the number of this season just exceeded the total of 1,756 outbreaks registered in the EC by 24 European states in 2021.
However, this latest 2022 figure has only increased by two since the EC was last updated on June 18. Due to the downward revision of Hungary, France’s total increased by 3 to 1,344. According to the French Ministry of Agriculture, no new cases have been detected in the country’s poultry herds since May 17. In mid-March, three outbreaks were confirmed that France officially registered with the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) in the last two weeks. The incident occurred in the Pays de la Loire region of western France, with a total of 54,000 birds (two flock of ducks and one flock of chickens).
The EC notification system does not apply to Russia or the United Kingdom (UK). Both countries have identified new outbreaks of poultry. In the Ryazan and Kursk regions of the Central Federal District of Russia, poultry from seven non-profit poultry groups have been tested positive for the H5N1 HPAI virus since late May. By the second half of June at the latest, herds of two villages and the backyard were affected. Each contained 41 to 250 birds. According to the Scottish Government, the H5N1HPAI virus was found off the north coast of the United Kingdom near Birsay in the Orkney Islands. Normal control measures have been taken, but details of the number and species of birds involved in the outbreak are not given. If confirmed to be poultry, the total number of outbreaks in Scotland will be 11 in the 2021-202 season and 118 in the UK as a whole.
In the first week of July, another outbreak of HPAI was identified on a small farm in the Netherlands. Approximately 550 ornamental chickens and waterfowl were affected on the company’s premises in Watergang, North Holland, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. There are no poultry farms within 10 kilometers of the outbreak area. Extensive new cases in wild birds in Europe To date, 2,122 HPAI outbreaks have been reported to the EC reporting system in wild birds throughout Europe (as of July 3). A total of 31 countries in the region have registered at least one wild species outbreak through this system. For comparison: Throughout 2021, 2,437 HPAI outbreaks in wild birds from 31 European countries were registered in the EC system.
More on bird flu: affecting affecting South African poultry farmers
Wild birds continue to spread bird flu through Europe
Species have been reported to the EC from 14 countries. Of these, 84 were in Germany, 35 in the Netherlands, 28 in Norway and 16 in Denmark. There were more virus-positive cases in Iceland and Poland. Belgium, the Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have also registered one or more new cases of wild birds with WOAH since June 27. Notable are the wide variety of species affected by the recent outbreak of HPAI. Cases recorded in winter primarily affected wild ducks, geese and swans, while seabirds have been the hardest hit in the Northern Hemisphere since spring.
Despite the deaths of thousands of seabirds off the British coast, the population does not appear to be endangered. However, assessments by the Natural History Museum suggest that the disease is increasing pressure on colonies of these vulnerable birds across the country. With a few exceptions, the H5N1HPAI virus was detected as a serotype. However, seven Norwegian wild birds tested positive for the H5N5 variant.
In Denmark, the epidemic situation associated with the serotype of the H5N8 virus has been resolved following a notice recently reported to WOAH. At the turn of the year, two birds were tested positive for the virus.
Also read: Global poultry market report summary – Rabobank’s