World NewsUnseasonal bird flu outbreak in France raises concerns

Unseasonal bird flu outbreak in France raises concerns

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The island of Rouzic’s windswept clifftops needs to be teeming with gannets, however an unseasonal wave of chook flu on the French Atlantic coast this summer season has devastated their numbers, alarming conservationists and poultry farmers.

1000’s of seabirds have perished alongside France’s western shores in previous weeks due to the viral an infection, which normally strikes throughout autumn and winter months, elevating fears it could have change into a year-round danger and endemic to French wildlife.

That poses a hazard for France’s poultry business, the European Union’s second largest, which was compelled to cull greater than 19 million birds between November and Could due to avian influenza, as chook flu is formally known as.

DEADLY BIRD FLU RETURNS EARLIER THAN EXPECTED IN THE MIDWEST

“Fowl flu is hitting seabirds within the spring and in the summertime, which is completely new. Historically chook flu primarily hits waterfowls throughout winter,” Pascal Provost, director of the Sept-Iles archipelago chook reserve which incorporates the Rouzic island.

After a quick lull in farm outbreaks in Could, the French authorities eased poultry farming curbs in June.

Nonetheless, quickly after the virus hit flocks alongside the Brittany coast, slowly spreading south.

Useless gannets litter the coast of Perros-Guirec in Brittany, France, on Sept. 5, 2022., as chook flu wreaks havoc throughout the globe.
(REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)

Rouzic is residence to one of many world’s uncommon colonies of northern gannets. Provosts mentioned chook flu ravaged the flock from early July, killing adults and leaving their chicks to starve.

Since late July, seven new chook flu outbreaks have been confirmed on French farms, in keeping with the agriculture ministry.

“The state of affairs is phenomenal – by no means encountered in France earlier than – resulting from its scale and the interval when circumstances are being detected,” the ministry mentioned on its web site, warning in regards to the danger of contamination to poultry farms.

AVIAN FLU SUSPECTED TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THOUSANDS OF DEAD SEABIRDS WASHED UP ON CANADA’S EASTERN SHORE

French poultry farmers are nonetheless recovering from earlier outbreaks and the mass culling that adopted, and earlier than the most recent outbreaks already confronted a close to 10% fall in output this 12 months, business group Anvol mentioned.

“Earlier than, chook flu outbreaks had been attributable to migrating birds, however now we see that there are an increasing number of circumstances in French wildlife. That is new and it worries farmers and the entire poultry business”, Anvol chairman Jean-Michel Schaeffer instructed Reuters.

Fowl flu is normally transmitted by contaminated migrating wild birds’ feces or direct contact with contaminated feed, clothes and gear.

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