This Wednesday, March 16, the president of the agriculture chamber reveals that a duck farm in Ambon, in Morbihan, has seen all its animals slaughtered for health reasons. There is no doubt about the presence of the avian influenza virus. The sector is concerned and the authorities once again ask for respect for the confinement of birds.
“There’s no doubt that the ducks on this farm have been infected with the avian flu virus. We’re just waiting to find out if it’s the H5N1 or H7N9 virus.” says Laurent Kerlir, president of the Morbihan Chamber of Agriculture.
According to him, all the ducks on this farm in Ambon were slaughtered on Tuesday, March 15, in accordance with the health measures in force, decreed by the government. This Wednesday, “these are all disinfection operations that are in progress”.
A perimeter of 3 km has been established in which no confined birds can be removed from their farm or even sold. National measures had already been taken.since November 5th, French breeders being kept in “shelter” of your free-range poultry to avoid contact with migratory birds that can transmit the avian influenza virus.
Containment measures must be absolutely respected according to Laurent Kerlir, who fears a rapid spread of the virus and urges breeders and individuals to bring all their birds to avoid any transmission by birds.
The president of the Chamber of Agriculture does not dare to imagine the consequences that could have an increase in cases of avian flu in Morbihan, the first French department to produce chicken meat.
Relatively spared until then, Brittany has only been affected in recent months by three recorded cases: two geese of pleasure to live in a lagoon in Languidic (Morbihan) and two migratory birds in Côtes d’Armor. However, strict containment measures have so far prevented the spread of the disease in the region.
For Laurent Kerlir, the proximity of the Brière marshes to a large population of migratory birds could explain the contamination in the department. The entire sector in Loire-Atlantique and Vendée is in fact in the surveillance zone or in the protection zone.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, as of March 15, 2022, France had 792 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in livestock, 36 cases in wild animals and 17 cases in backyards.
With all the measures in place for several months, thegovernment hoped to avoid a repeat of last winter’s episode (2020-2021). Bird flu had spread to farms in the southwest and had only been stopped at the cost of the slaughter of more than 3.5 million birdsmostly ducks.
This Wednesday, the interprofession of poultry meat ANVOL speaks of a crisis “as violent as unexpected”facing “the most serious health crisis in its history”. Isector is effectively affected by the soaring prices of grain supplied to animals, energy and fertilizers with the war in Ukraine.
This is the fourth time since 2015 that France has been affected by bird flu. But in recent weeks the epidemic is gaining ground. Until then confined to the southwest, it has recently spread to the west of the Pays de la Loire, the second largest poultry producing region behind Brittany. Millions of ducks and other birds were culled to contain the virus.