France promises “comprehensive” review after AI cases are found

Two new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been reported in France as part of the monitoring process which runs alongside the country’s restocking of poultry farms following last year’s AI eradication programme.

According to the French Ministry of Agriculture, the latest monitoring results from 100 waterfowl farms which were checked in the south west of the country, revealed 99 AI-free and one where the HPAI virus was detected. This was in the Aveyron area, approximately 100 miles north-west of Toulouse.

A second case, also found as part the monitoring process, was identified in the Dordogne region.

In both locations, the livestock involved were slaughtered and the farms were cleaned and disinfected. In addition, farms within a 10km radius were placed under strengthened supervision.

The French Ministry of Agriculture commented that the two “sporadic” cases were due to the pressure of original infection that existed in the relevant areas and that their identification fully justified the checks and strict biosecurity measures which were put in place in February this year.

The Ministry has also promised to complete a “comprehensive review” of all the controls as applied to approximately 1,000 poultry farms in the south-west. This will be published in September this year and will “draw lessons” from the eradication strategy used in the area.

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