All French poultry farmers will have to lock up and confine their animals. According to a decree published in the Official Gazette and which came into force this Friday, November 5, the risk related to avian flu has increased to a “high” level in metropolitan France. The level was raised due to the multiplication of cases of avian flu in countries v” indicates in franceinfo Jean-Michel Schaeffer. This Label Rouge poultry farmer from Alsace estimates that 11,000 farms are concerned about the measure. This represents 5.00 poultry farms of poultry, 5,000 duck farms for foie gras and between 1,000 and 1,500 poultry farmers.Pe located in the region of Verona.
Avian flu has returned to France. “Three outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) were confirmed in individuals with a probable link to an outbreak declared in Belgium“, says the ministerial decree. These cases were detected only on non-professional farms. There are three contaminated pens in Aisne and Ardennes. As professional farms are spared for the time being, the “free” status of influenza, which determines the export taken, is maintained.
This level of risk implies that all French poultry farmers lock up their animals to avoid contact with migratory birds, potentially carriers of the virus. This obligation concernsall bird owners: poultry, ornamental birds, game and captive wildlife“, specifies the decree. Such a measure had already been taken last week in the Netherlands. Since September 10 in France, the risk level has increased to “moderate”. along the Atlantic coast and the Rhône corridor that runs from Lyon to the Mediterranean, they have had to confine their poultry, but the measure does not seem to be enough given the multiplication of cases in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
The number of cases is still low, but the government wants to do it sooner. By imposing the confinement of birds throughout the metropolitan territory, the Ministry of Agriculture hopes to avoid a repeat of last winter. Nearly 500 bird flu outbreaks had been identified in poultry farms. More than 3.5 million birds, mainly ducks, had to be culled to contain the epidemic. Avian flu mainly affected the Southwest, known for its production of foie gras. Daily clinical monitoring is therefore established on farms to prevent the uncontrolled spread of avian influenza.
A situation that worries professionals
If the Interprofession of poultry meat, Anvol, welcomes the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture, qualifying it as “good measure“, its president Jean-Michel Schaeffer also says to himself”worried about the situation“.”The idea is to avoid falling into this type of cataclysm [de l’hiver 2020] because for creators it is morally very difficult to live” indicates in franceinfo Jean-Michel Schaeffer. This Label Rouge poultry farmer in Alsace estimates that 11,000 farms are affected by the measure. This represents 5.00 meat poultry farms, 5,000 duck farms for foie gras and between 1,000 and 1,500 breeders of laying hens.
For the profession, the confinement of birds is experienced as a real “sledgehammer“, described in franceinfo Sylvie Colas, responsible for the avian flu archive at the Confédération paysanne. “It’s a lack of discernment, a death sentence for our production model“, regrets this Gers poultry farmer.