In Germany and Europe, the bird flu (bird flu/HPAI) situation has worsened dramatically.
An epidemic of unprecedented scale threatens the livelihoods of local poultry farmers. Even before the start of bird migration season, there were unusually high numbers of bird flu epidemics during the summer.

Friedrich Otto Lipke, president of the German Poultry Industry Central Association (ZDG), warns:
“When the young wild birds arrive this autumn, it is unpredictable which way the epidemic will go. The typical seasonal outbreaks of avian flu seem to no longer exist. We have to talk about endemic disease. This is a major threat to livestock and wild bird populations. “

Bird flu vaccination can help. Nothing like that is currently available in Europe. The European Commission is aware of the seriousness of the situation and wants to make vaccination against bird flu possible, and is currently amending the Animal Diseases Act. It’s a good sign for livestock owners who are already doing everything they can to protect their livestock with biosecurity measures, and the changing epidemic situation shows that we too need to be vaccinated as soon as possible! We also need to protect animals, because otherwise thousands of them would have to be killed by force,” says Ripke.

In addition, it is immensely important to better understand the entry and spread paths of the virus and to identify secondary outbreaks, says Ripke, “Here, the nationwide gene sequencing of the viruses found is a very valuable tool – both in kept poultry and in wild birds. The reference laboratory at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute must therefore be provided with all the necessary resources and capacities.” The animal disease can only be successfully combated if politics, science, nature conservation and livestock farmers work together.

“In all our efforts to counteract avian influenza with effective measures, we must not forget one thing:
In the end, it is also about maintaining the security of supply of the German population with healthy, inexpensive and popular foods such as eggs and poultry. If, as a result of a shortage, imports of eggs and poultry meat from countries with significantly low animal welfare and sustainability standards increase, this cannot be in the common interest of consumers, politicians and the poultry industry,” emphasizes Friedrich-Otto Ripke.

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