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
At least 200,000 ducks killed due to bird flu outbreak in France with a further 400,000 to be culled
At least 200,000 ducks in France had been culled as of Tuesday amid an outbreak of bird flu and another 400,000 are expected to be culled as a preventive measure, the French agriculture ministry has confirmed to Euronews.
Courtesy of euronews.com
127,000 ducks killed in desperate bid to stop latest bird flu outbreak from spreading in Norfolk, UK
A cull of 127,000 ducks has begun in a desperate bid to stop the UK’s latest outbreak of deadly bird flu from spreading.
The highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza has infected a flock being reared for Britain’s largest duck producer Gressingham Foods at Ickburgh, near Thetford, Norfolk.
The birds on the farm, and three other linked duck farms in the same village, all operated by Green Label Poultry, are being slaughtered over the coming days as fears grow over the spread of the disease.
The case follows an earlier outbreak 10 days ago which led to 8,000 ducks being culled on another Gressingham farm around 15 miles away at Great Ellingham, near Attleborough.
Another two outbreaks led to the culling of 55,000 turkeys shortly before Christmas on farms near Snetterton, Norfolk, and King’s Lynn.
Last month it was also revealed that 10,500 turkeys were being culled after an outbreak at a fattening premises in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.
Today, the road leading to the farms in Ickburgh were closed with barriers and yellow tape warning: ‘No entry. Animal Disease Control Precautions.’
Two security guards manned one of the barricades and turned away motorists to ensure that the cull continued away from prying eyes.
Workers in white protection suits could be seen gathering in the early morning mist in the area of one of the duck rearing units.
A lorry thought to have been carrying the carcasses of some of the culled ducks for disposal was also pictured leaving the area.
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs confirmed that all ducks on the premises in multiple sheds, an estimated 127,000 birds, started to be humanely culled on Wednesday.
A Defra spokesperson added: ‘All carcases from the site will be removed and rendered at a local plant.’
Gressingham Foods which is based in Debach, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, started producing its Gressingham ducks, a cross between Peking and wild mallard breeds, in 1989.
A spokesman for the company which reportedly produces eight million ducks a year said the latest cull was ‘heartbreaking’ for its farming teams and financially damaging for the business.
But he insisted that it would not have a major impact on its supplies for customers.
The spokesman said: ‘We are working closely with the authorities and with our customers, and supplies to our customers won’t be affected in any big way.
‘It is clearly going to be challenging for the business over the next three to four weeks, but we have got plans in place that mitigate any of these losses in volume.
‘This AI strain seems to be particularly virulent this year. We take our biosecurity very seriously and we run the highest hygiene standards across all our farms, so how this is getting into poultry sheds – across all sectors of the poultry industry, not just ducks – is very difficult to ascertain.’
Defra set up a protection zone around the infected premises in Ickburgh, imposing extra biosecurity measures and restricting the movement of poultry, eggs and meat within 3.4km after the outbreak was discovered on Monday.
A wider surveillance zone with lesser restrictions stretching out to 10.4km from the farms has also been imposed.
Both zones are slightly larger than usual to cover all four sites to limit the risk of the disease spreading.
Defra introduced tough new nationwide measures to combat bird flu on December 14 amid fears that it could hit the supply of Christmas turkeys.
Under the measures, all poultry flocks including free range birds are having to be kept indoors in England, Scotland and Wales to keep them separate from potentially infectious wild birds.
The strict new lockdown-style measures, which were introduced earlier in the Netherlands, even apply to people with hens in coops or garden pens.
Gary Ford, the East Anglia regional director for the National Farmers’ Union, said: ‘This is further concerning news for our region’s vital poultry sector.
‘It highlights just how great a threat avian influenza currently poses to birds. We would urge all poultry keepers to remain vigilant, to maintain enhanced biosecurity and to report any signs of disease in their birds to their vet or the Animal and Plant Health Agency.’
Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from the bird flu virus is very low and it is unconnected the coronavirus pandemic.
The Food Standards Agency has also advised that avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
Courtesy of dailymail.co.uk
The Animal and Plant Health Agency in the UK has confirmed three outbreaks of H5N8 bird flu this week in East Devon and Norfolk. The cases in Devon were found in backyard poultry and the other two outbreaks in Norfolk were found at a duck farm and in a captive (non-poultry) bird.
Surveillance zones have been declared around the outbreaks. The latest outbreaks follow ramped up biosecurity protocols announced earlier in December.
Courtesy of thepoultrysite.com
The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA) has registered the first outbreak of avian influenza in Bulgaria for 2020. The National Reference Laboratory has confirmed the highly pathogenic Influenza H5N8 at a duck breeding farm in Rakovski near Plovdiv. At the moment of the outbreak registration, 5,830 mulards of four age groups are being raised on the farm, said the BFSA press office.
A protection measure is being introduced in the 3 km zone. This means that all farms that are around 25 are subject to inspection. The so-called 10 km surveillance zone have also been put in place. There are a total of 24 farms there.
Courtesy of novinite.com
Hungarian food safety authority NÉBIH on Wednesday said it detected avian flu virus at a duck farm in Hajdú-Bihar County (about 215 km east of Budapest), marking the second major discovery of the H5N8 strain of the virus in the country in the last few days, state news wire MTI reports.
NÉBIH said it had started to destroy the 115,000 ducks on the farm. It will also establish a 3 km protection zone and a 10 km surveillance zone around the site.
The authority said the ducks were probably infected by wild birds from a nearby lake and advised poultry farmers to keep their birds in enclosed areas.
NÉBIH made the announcement of the discovery of the H5N8 strain of the virus days after finding the same strain at a turkey farm in Komárom-Esztergom County (approximately 80 km northeast of Budapest). As the Budapest Business Journal reported earlier, all 53,500 birds were destroyed at the turkey farm.
Courtesy of bbj.hu
Taiwan has confirmed the country’s first case of the highly pathogenic H5N5 strain of avian influenza on a duck farm in Cishan District, Kaohsiung, Council of Agriculture (COA) Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said Monday.
The virus was identified Sept. 12 as an H5 subtype and was confirmed as H5N5 the following day. The case has been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), according to Huang.
According to OIE regulations, H5N5-free status can be regained if no new cases are detected within three months of preventive measures and surveillance, including disinfection of all affected establishments, Huang said.
It is hoped that the surveillance plan can be completed during the three-month period from Sept. 12 to Dec. 12, he added.
The H5N5 case was the first in Taiwan but was not the first in Asia. The first H5N5 virus in Asia was detected in China in 2011, according to the COA.
However, the source of the virus is still unknown, according to Huang.
The virus detected on the Cishan duck farm led to the culling of 3,583 ducks, according to Tu Wen-chen (杜文珍), deputy chief of the COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.
Rapid diagnostic tests for detecting the highly pathogenic virus were conducted on five nearby farms, all of which showed negative results, meaning that the virus has not spread to other areas, Tu said.
High-risk areas for avian flu outbreaks in Taiwan are mainly in 18 townships in Changhua, Yunlin and Pingtung counties, as well as Tainan and Kaohsiung.
Courtesy of focustaiwan.tw
A farm in southern Taiwan had to cull 5,119 ducks after a sample tested positive for the H5N2 strain of avian influenza.
Liberty Times reported Monday (Sept. 9) the outbreak occurred at a duck farm in Wandan Township, Pingtung County, according to the city’s Animal Disease Control Center. Birds affected with the highly-pathogenic virus strain do not usually appear ill – hence, infection is determined through sampling.
Sterilization measures have been taken at the poultry farm and in the surrounding areas following the outbreak. Monitoring work will be enforced within a 1-kilometer radius of the affected duck farm, the center said.
Animal health authorities urged the island’s poultry farmers to avoid free range husbandry, so as to reduce the chances of bird flu spreading. They were also urged to report any irregularities so the disease can be effectively controlled.
Courtesy of taiwannews.com.tw
The duck illustration is Alabio. Photo: Net
600 The dead ducks in the Tatah Makmur, an ND in the Pancaroba season.
Courtesy of kanalkalimantan.com
A team of veterinary doctors and experts culled more than 600 ducks and 66 chickens on Sunday following confirmation of bird flu (H5N1) in the city.
Courtesy of timesofindia.indiatimes.com