After reports of several cases of Bird Flu in western Europe, France on November 4 put parts of the country on high alert. The French government called to cull 200,000 chickens in the east of the country after the disease has spread among the wild animals near France’s borders. According to a France 24 report, as many as 45 French departments were declared “high” risk amid the fears of the spread of avian influenza first detected in the migratory birds. As per an update published in France’s official decree, the migratory channel that crosses national territory attracts birds and it has raised the level of risk for France.
While France has enhanced the surveillance in wetland zones, the federal government has stepped up safety measures in domestic birds and poultry commercial farms. France also enhanced the sanitary measures to curb the outbreaks and has instituted restriction zones warning the veterinary sectors about the zoonotic virus H5. Due to a surge in the cases identified in Europe, countries like the Netherlands have executed orders to cull all pathogenic birds in the poultry to prevent the disease from circulating. To stem the sporadic infection, as many as 480 birds were asked to be culled at a farm near Deal in Kent, sources of Independent confirmed. Furthermore, UK asked an additional 13,000 birds to be culled at Cheshire farm to curb infection from spreading at other commercial premises.
We can confirm that a second case of Avian Influenza has now been announced in the UK.
H5N8 Avian Flu was identified at a premises in Cheshire, with the Animal and Plant Health Agency declaring it as highly pathogenic. (1) pic.twitter.com/m5EmGiznRU
— BHWT (@BHWTOfficial) November 4, 2020
Detected by DEFRA
Following in the footsteps of the Netherland after avian influenza was detected in two swans, the UK sought immediate measures to stop the ailment from transmitting, as small clusters of human cases are possible in people exposed to infected poultry or contaminated farms. UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss told Independent that Boris Johnson government took immediate steps to limit the risk of the disease, and all remaining poultry and captive birds at the farm were ordered to be culled. Infection was detected by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the UK, although Public Health England (PHE) said that public health threat from avian flu wasn’t major and remains uncommon. Germany, meanwhile reported a solitary case of bird flu in the northern farms of the country last week.
“Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises,” UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said in press release. “We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it,” she added.
(Image Credit: uk.gov)