18,000 chickens killed due to bird flu – avian influenza in Skane, Sweden

Bird Flu

The avian influenza virus H5N8 has been found at a large plant in Skåne, the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the National Veterinary Institute, SVA, have been found. On Tuesday, the plant’s 18,000 animals will begin.

SVA is currently investigating the cause of infection. Most likely, the virus has come indirectly, via wild birds.

“We know that the infection is high in mainly aquatic wild birds, which means that the risk is great in coastal areas and near lakes,” Malin Grant, epidemiologist at SVA told ATL and continues:

“Geese, for example, can secrete large amounts of viruses and in the prevailing weather conditions, when it is cold and lack of sunlight, it can survive for quite some time.

She explains that it is often not possible to determine exactly how the virus has entered the facility.

“There are many different pathways such as staff getting it on or it comes on equipment, indirectly via rodents or wild birds, or ventilation ducts.

Two buildings on the facility were found to be affected by the virus. 18 000 poultry will therefore need to be killed and the buildings cleaned up. This work will begin on Tuesday. A decision on a lockdown has been made by the Swedish Board of Agriculture with a protection zone of three kilometres around the holding in question, and a monitoring zone with a radius of ten kilometres.

“This means that animals or animal products can not be moved without permission in the area. The same is true in both zones and permits are needed to move and transport poultry,” says Katharina Gielen, deputy head of the animal department at the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

In addition, domestic birds should be kept indoors, except in the case of special derogations.

“But then you have to do everything to protect them even outdoors, such as having a roof over feed and water, having them fenced and on reduced surface so that they don’t move completely freely,” says Katharina Gielen.

She tells us that they have been on site to see what large facilities are within the zones and been in contact with them to tell them the situation and get an overview of the farms.

“When bird flu is detected, we are obliged to do so, just as pet owners are obliged to report episotomy in the event of episothey.

It is important to have rapid control in the affected part, otherwise there is a risk of further spread. Malin Grant says that the farm in question acted early and that it is a facility with high biosecurity, which happened to be affected.

“The virus is extremely contagious.

She says there are several issues that farmers can think through around their own herd to try to reduce the risk of infection and spread of the virus:

“What are the possible routes into my animals? What about staff routines, protective equipment, hand washing, transport, visitors? If you can keep wild birds away from the outdoor environment near the farm, it is an advantage, by eliminating things that attract them.

This could include, for example, ensuring that there are no feed spills or bodies of water on the farm.

On November 6, infection of the virus occurred within a Turkey herd in Skåne. Katharina Gielen says that they recently lifted the restrictions and that the plant has been declared free of infection.

How long it takes for an infected farm to be released varies.

“It all depends on the size of the crew and that everything runs on as expected. The animals must first be killed, then buildings are to be cleaned up and so it should be empty for a certain period.

After the outbreak on the turkey herd, protection level 2has applied throughout Sweden , which means that domestic poultry are not allowed to stay outdoors except in special exceptions. There are no plans to lift the restrictions at this time.

“It is based on international surveillance and reports that viruses are currently circulating among wild birds, in several countries in Europe. The danger is certainly not over yet,” says Katharina Gielen.

“We keep our fingers crossed that no more people will be affected. This can mean significant financial losses and consequences for the producers affected. But also great animal suffering,” says Malin Grant.

Courtesy of atl.nu

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