Animal health authorities in Japan have culled a record 9.87 million birds, mostly chickens and ducks, to stop the spread of highly pathogenic bird flu.
Japan has been contending with outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu since November 2020. Recent reporting in the Japan Times and JiJi Press says that the outbreak spread to 18 prefectures, including Chiba and Ibaraki, the country’s main poultry producing areas.
As of Saturday 8 May, veterinary authorities culled around 9.87 million birds as part of biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This number is a dramatic increase from the previous record cull of 1.83 million birds in the 2010-2011 outbreak.
The Jiji Press reports that the widespread culls are behind the recent spike in egg prices.
Poultry farmers and backyard keepers are being encouraged to adopt stringent biosecurity measures to prevent further outbreaks of bird flu.
Courtesy of thepoultrysite.com
New cases of avian influenza believed to be of a highly pathogenic strain have been confirmed at poultry farms in both Chiba and Miyazaki prefectures, their prefectural governments announced on Sunday.
Chiba Prefecture decided to cull all of some 1.15 million chickens raised at the affected farm in the town of Tako to prevent the spread of the virus and requested the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces for help to complete task swiftly.
This is the seventh bird flu outbreak at a farm in Chiba since December last year, following an outbreak confirmed at a farm in the nearby city of Asahi only on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the 11th farm bird flu case in Miyazaki this season hit a poultry facility in the town of Shintomi. The prefectural government is culling all of around 240,000 chickens raised there. The facility is located only about 500 meters away from a farm where the viral outbreak occurred in late January.
Restrictions have been imposed on the transfers of eggs and chickens from all farms within 10 kilometers of the facilities newly hit by the disease in the two prefectures.
Courtesy of japantimes.co.jp
Japan has been hit by a major avian influenza outbreak, particularly in the west of the country. During the 2020/2021 season, since the first case confirmed in November 2020 at an egg-laying chicken farm in Mitoyo, Kagawa Prefecture, there have been a further 41 farms affected in 17 prefectures (as of February 2, 2021) with 7.1 million birds culled. This is a record high for a single season. Chicken farms have been most affected, including those for egg-laying birds and broilers for meat production, as well as those for raising chicks. On January 21, an outbreak was also confirmed at a farm producing duck meat in Chiba Prefecture.
A poultry farm where avian influenza was confirmed on February 2 was one of the largest in Ibaraki Prefecture and all 840,000 of its egg-laying hens were culled. This is the first time since 2006 that there has been an outbreak in Ibaraki.
According to livestock statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ibaraki is the prefecture with the highest number of egg-laying hens at 15.5 million, followed by Chiba with 12.4 million. Miyazaki has the highest number of broilers in the country with 28.2 million, while the neighboring prefecture of Kagoshima ranks second for broilers and third for egg-laying hens. The long-term spread of avian influenza in leading production areas has inevitably affected supply and demand of chicken and eggs.
The common factor in all the poultry avian influenza outbreak cases so far this season is the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 virus with a high fatality rate detected each time. In 10 prefectures yet to experience farm outbreaks, the same virus has been found in wild birds and feces at and alongside rivers and lakes.
Courtesy of nippon.com
Hungary’s food safety authority NEBIH ordered the slaughter of 101,000 chickens on Thursday because of a bird flu outbreak, it said on its website.
The slaughter of the birds was ordered at a single egg-producing farm in central Hungary, with a 10km observation buffer zone set around the farm and international partners informed of the decision, the authority said.
A series of bird flu outbreaks have been reported on farms in Germany, France, Lithuania and elsewhere in Europe in recent weeks, with wild birds suspected to be spreading the disease.
Courtesy of yahoo.com
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
Japan’s worst bird flu outbreak on record spread to new farms this week and has been found in around a quarter of the country’s 47 prefectures, with officials ordering more cullings.
About 32,000 birds will be slaughtered and buried in Sukumo city in Kochi prefecture in southwestern Japan after avian influenza was discovered at an egg farm, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.
More infected birds were found on two farms in Kagawa prefecture, where the poultry epidemic emerged last month, with nearly 30,000 birds being slaughtered there, the ministry said.
The outbreak has hit 12 prefectures across Japan and a record 3 million birds have been culled to date.
While the ministry said it is not possible for people to catch avian influenza from eating the eggs or meat of infected chickens, health officials around the world are concerned about the virus strain making a “species jump” to humans and causing a pandemic like the novel coronavirus.
The outbreak in Japan and neighbouring South Korea is one of two separate highly pathogenic avian influenza epidemics hitting poultry around the world, according the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and Japanese officials.
Both the strain circulating in Asia and one spreading rapidly in Europe originated in wild birds, they said.
Japan has an egg-laying flock of about 185 million hens and a broiler population of 138 million, according to the ministry of agriculture.
Farms in Japan were earlier ordered to disinfect facilities and check hygiene regimes, as well as to ensure that nets to keep out wild birds are installed properly.
Courtesy of agriculture.com
Thousands of animals dead due to flooding in Honduras
Courtesy of laprensa.hn
Thirteen thousand birds are to be culled at farm in Cheshire after avian flu was confirmed there.
The H5N8 strain of bird flu was detected at a broiler breeders premises in Frodsham, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
It said it was not related to the H5N2 strain found at a small farm near Deal in Kent earlier.
Public Health England (PHE) said the risk to public health was “very low”.
All 13,000 birds at the farm, which produces hatching eggs, will be culled, said Defra.
Further testing is under way to determine if it is a highly pathogenic strain and whether it is related to the virus currently circulating in Europe.
The UK’s chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss, said: “Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading.
“This includes 3km and 10km temporary control zones around the infected site.
“We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it.”
Dr Gavin Dabrera from PHE said: “There have never been any confirmed cases of H5N8 in humans and the risk to public health is considered very low.”
A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “On the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
“Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”
Courtesy of BBC News
Thousands of chickens and emus to be killed due to Bird Flu in Victoria, Australia #Chickens #Emus #BirdFlu #Victoria #Australia
Tens of thousands of chickens and an untold number of emus will be euthanased as Victoria battles multiple bird flu outbreaks.
A strain of the virus was first detected at a free-range egg farm in Lethbridge, north-west of Geelong, in late July.
As of this week, infected birds – including emus, turkeys and chickens – have been found in six poultry farms.
Agriculture Victoria says three different strains of the virus have been detected, meaning that the outbreaks are not all connected.
The biggest operation hit so far is ASX-listed company, Farm Pride.
The virus was first detected at one of its farms in the Golden Plains Shire earlier this month.
This week it was found in amongst the flock at a second farm in the same region.
The company had already destroyed more than 300,000 layer hens due to its first confirmed outbreak and will now have to cull another 40,000, meaning Farm Pride will lose a third of its entire flock.
In an announcement to the ASX yesterday, the company advised that the “full financial impact is still being determined and remains material”.
Losses of $18-$23 million were expected for the 2020-21 financial year.
“It is disappointing that despite the highest biosecurity levels and efforts of the farm management and Agriculture Victoria, this [second] site has now succumbed to the virus,” the ASX statement reads.
“This further outbreak has occurred despite strict monitoring and controls that have prohibited the movement of birds, equipment and products within and out of restrictions areas and this farm.”
The second outbreak detected this week is at an emu farm near Kerang, in the state’s north.
Agriculture Victoria said the emus were sick with a less severe and infectious strain than the one afflicting several of the chicken farms in the Goldens Plains Shire.
The emu farm is home to about 8,000 birds.
Victoria’s chief veterinary officer, Graeme Cooke, said at least some of those emus would have to be euthanased.
“We have had to move to depopulate part of the farm,” he said.
“There is some sort of cull — but at this point it is limited, and it’s too early to say about future actions.”
Courtesy of abc.net.au
450,000, chickens killed due to Bird Flu in Victoria, Australia #Chickens #BirdFlu #Victoria #Australia
Almost half a million birds have been infected with bird flu after outbreaks at four Victorian farms.
The first infections were detected at a farm in Lethbridge, 95km southwest of Melbourne on July 31, followed by outbreaks at two more Lethbridge farms at the beginning of August.
A fourth poultry farm near Bairnsdale, 280km east of Melbourne, was also infected on August 10.
Now around 450,000 birds are thought to be affected as authorities rush to contain the highly contagious disease.
Health authorities have quarantined the four sites and are working to ‘depopulate’ the affected birds before the end of the week.
Turkeys from the first Lethbridge farm are thought to be responsible for the spread of the virus. All poultry at the site has been destroyed.
Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Graeme Cooke said two strains of the virus, H7N7 and H5N2 had been detected.
He confirmed that the most viral, the H7N7 strain, was found at two farms in Lethbridge.
‘Highly pathogenic strains, like the H7N7 that was recently detected in Golden Plains Shire, cause severe clinical signs and high death rates among poultry,’ he said.
‘However, we have now also detected a low pathogenic H5N2 strain. This typically causes much reduced clinical signs in comparison.’
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services confirmed neither virus is a risk to the public unless there is ‘direct and close contact with sick birds’.
There are also no food safety issues because properly cooked poultry meat and eggs are still safe to eat.
Despite the low risk to people, movement controls were put in place within a 2km area of the Bairnsdale farm while the restricted area in Lethbridge remains in place.
Dr Cook said Agriculture Victoria would step up its surveillance activities within the Golden Plains Shire control area to help contain the virus.
‘Agriculture Victoria is actively investigating the connection between the two premises and further surveillance activities may be required,’ he said.
‘These controls prohibit the movement of birds, related equipment and products within and out of the designated Control Area unless a permit for movement has been granted by Agriculture Victoria until further notice.’
Both strains of the virus affect chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, quail, pheasants and ostriches.
Many species of wild birds, including waterfowl and seabirds, can also carry the virus without any symptoms.
Dr Cooke said the outbreaks were a reminder to all bird owners, however many birds they have, to always practice good biosecurity.
He also encouraged bird owners not to allow wild birds to mix with domestic birds where possible.
Australia has previously experienced incursions of avian influenza viruses which were successfully eradicated.
Courtesy of dailymail.co.uk