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
The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, has confirmed avian influenza in samples of birds sent from a poultry farm at Kila Raipur, prompting the administration to order culling of 90,000 birds.
The samples were collected on Wednesday after owner of Suba Singh poultry farm informed the administration about the mysterious death of 1,500 birds.
As the report confirming presence of bird flu arrived on Friday evening, deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma declared the area within a kilometre of the epicentre as infected zone and 1-10km as surveillance zone.
Ordering culling of 90,000 birds at the farm, he also constituted a nine-member committee to oversee the process and ensure that no bird, unprocessed poultry meat, eggs, feed or any other material was taken out from the poultry farm.
The committee headed by Khanna additional deputy commissioner Sakatar Singh Bal took stock of the situation at the farm on Saturday.
Bal said 20 teams of the animal husbandry department will start the culling operation in two shifts from Sunday. With a target of 4,000-6,000 birds a day, the process should be completed in around three weeks, he added.
Courtesy of hindustantimes.com
Bulgarian veterinary authorities will cull 40,000 laying hens in the southeastern village of Krivo Pole after a bird flu outbreak was confirmed at an industrial farm there, the fifth since the start of the year, the food safety agency said late on Friday.
The agency said the farm had been hit by highly pathogenic avian influenza type A, but did not disclose the strain of the disease.
The predominant strain in Europe at present is H5N8.
Some 160,000 ducks and 154,000 hens have been culled at four other farms in the Balkan country since February as authorities try to contain the spread of the disease.
Bird flu has been confirmed on the Isle of Wight, the local authority has confirmed this afternoon (Wednesday).
A wild swan found deceased at Ryde Canoe Lake has tested positive for H5N8 avian flu, meaning the influenza has now reached the Island.
Avian influenza can be deadly to birds but has little direct impact on humans. Public Health England advises that the risk to public health is very low, and the Food Standards Agency has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
As previously reported by Island Echo, 7 swans have been found dead at the canoe lake over the past 2 weeks – 4 in the past 2 days alone. Each reported death has been investigated by the council but in only 1 case was the dead bird still present. That bird was securely stored and reported to DEFRA.
As a precaution, footpaths around Ryde Canoe Lake will now be closed off. Police have implemented a cordon in the area this lunchtime.
Visitors to Ryde Canoe Lake or nearby water bodies are being asked to not attempt to feed the waterfowl at this time, as this may attract them to locations where they could spread infection, especially in areas where domesticated birds might also be about.
Courtesy of islandecho.co.uk
South Korea said Wednesday it is speeding up efforts to cull poultry around farms infected with highly pathogenic bird flu amid growing concerns over the virus spreading nationwide.
The country has culled 5.59 million birds as preventive measures since reporting the first farm-related case in late November, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Chickens accounted for 3.5 million, followed by quails with 1.2 million and ducks with 880,000.
Local authorities slaughtered poultry within a 3-kilometer radius of infected farms.
South Korea has reported 16 cases of highly pathogenic bird flu from farms. South Jeolla Province accounted for six, and Gyeonggi and North Jeolla provinces accounted for three infections each.
There were also cases from the provinces of South and North Chungcheong, along with South Gyeongsang.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza is contagious and can cause severe illness and even death in poultry.
The country reported this year’s first highly pathogenic avian influenza case from wild birds in late October. Since then, a total of 29 cases have been found from wild bird habitats nationwide.
Authorities are currently investigating seven suspected cases from wild birds.
Courtesy of koreatimes.co.kr
Suspected Cases Of Bird Flu Strikes Parts Of The UK In Warwickshire, Evesham, Stratford, River Avon, Herefordshire, Worcester, Shropshire
PEOPLE are being advised not to touch sick or dead birds after suspected cases of bird flu in Warwickshire.
Cases of avian influenza were recently confirmed in swans in Evesham, and in Stratford it was reported the bodies of two swans retrieved from River Avon for analysis, had died of the condition.
Cases have also been reported across the country and closer to home have been confirmed in Herefordshire and are understood to be in Worcester and Shropshire.
Public Health England and local council bosses are urging residents and members of wildlife organisations not to touch sick or dead wild birds.
With infection numbers on the rise, Defra has declared the country as an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone to prevent the disease spreading to poultry and captive birds. This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures and for all poultry and captive birds to be housed.
The strain can spread to other birds, but there have been no human cases of infection reported.
While the risk to human health is considered very low, health bosses say it is vital people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses.
Public health England regional disease control spokesman Dr James Chipwete said: “During the last week there have been confirmed cases of avian influenza in swans in Evesham, and we are receiving an increasing number of reports of sick and dead swans in Worcester. We are awaiting results of investigations currently being undertaken.
“We know that people are concerned for the welfare of the swans, especially ensuring they are fed in these colder months, however it is important that people avoid contact with these sick or dead birds. Even though no cases of human infection have been associated with this strain of avian flu, as a precaution, anyone who was not wearing appropriate PPE while in contact with the droppings or birds in an area where the infection has been confirmed, will require close monitoring and a course of antiviral medication for 10 days from last contact with infected birds.
“We have seen a number of avian flu cases in poultry and captive birds across the country – with confirmed cases in Herefordshire last month, and suspected cases now in Warwickshire.
“People must avoid touching potentially infected birds at all costs, and if you do see any sick or dead birds by waterways or on your private land, please leave them and call the Defra helpline. In areas where the infection has been confirmed, anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead birds or their droppings, while not wearing the correct PPE, should make sure any footwear is properly cleaned and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water. They should then notify Public Health England’s Health Protection Team to arrange for antiviral medication and active surveillance of their condition. If someone handled infected birds while wearing adequate PPE, they must still undergo surveillance.”
Courtesy of leamingtonobserver.co.uk
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
More than 10,000 turkeys will be culled at a site in North Yorkshire following an outbreak of bird flu.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced the cull on Sunday adding that it should not have an impact on supplies of turkey over Christmas.
The discovery of the H5N8 strain of the avian flu was made at a turkey fattening site near Northallerton was made on Saturday.
Defra released a statement confirming the news.
It reads: “Avian influenza of the H5N8 strain was confirmed at a turkey fattening premises near Northallerton on Saturday November 28.
“All 10,500 birds at the farm will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease.
“A 3km and 10km temporary control zone has been put in place around the infected site to limit the risk of the disease spreading.”
The statement added there is not anticipated to be any impact on the supplies of turkeys or other birds over Christmas.
The news comes after around 13,500 birds were culled earlier this month after an avian flu outbreak was confirmed at a commercial farm in Helsby, near Frodsham in Cheshire.
Public Health England and local health protection teams, who were involved, said the human risk of infection is very low for the general population, and low for those immediate contacts on site.
A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”
Clinical signs that poultry keepers should look for in their birds include a swollen head, discolouration of neck and throat, loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and fewer eggs laid – although clinical signs vary between species of bird.
H5N8 avian influenza is currently circulating in wild birds and poultry in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, causing clinical signs in affected birds.
This led to the risk level being raised to medium for the incursion into the UK through the movement of wild birds.
These viruses are in no way connected to the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is not carried in poultry.
Courtesy of mirror.co.uk
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
Hundreds of birds are to be culled at a farm in Kent where an outbreak of avian influenza of the H5N2 strain has been detected.
A 1km restricted zone has been placed around the premises near Deal “to prevent the disease spreading”.
Public Health England (PHE) said the risk to the UK population was “very low” but it was “looking for evidence of spread to control and eliminate it”.
All 480 birds at the site are to be “humanely culled”.
The UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, said: “Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading and all remaining poultry and captive birds at the farm will be culled.”
There will be no impact on food supply as the farm does not supply poultry, meat or eggs commercially, she added.
Bird keepers have been told to remain alert for signs of disease and to report suspected cases immediately.
“We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it,” Ms Middlemiss said.
Dr Gavin Dabrera, consultant in acute respiratory infections at PHE, said bird flu was an “uncommon infection” in humans.
But he advised people not to touch sick or dead birds and to wash hands thoroughly with soap after contact with any animal.
The Food Standards Agency said properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, were safe to eat.
Courtesy of BBC News