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France - Avian influenza: the situation in France (August 3, 2022)

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  • France - Avian influenza: the situation in France (August 3, 2022)

    03 August 2022

    Avian influenza: the situation in France

    The national health situation with regard to avian influenza had improved in France since the beginning of May, with the return to a level of risk classified as “negligible”. However, since mid-May, a sharp increase in cases has been observed in “indigenous” wildlife on the Channel coast. And two outbreaks in breeding were confirmed on July 29 and 30 in the Manche and the Somme.

    Location on the northern coast of France

    Since mid-May, grouped mortalities of coastal birds have been observed first in the coastal departments of Hauts de France (Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Somme) mainly among gulls (gulls, gulls and terns) then these mortalities appeared during June on the Normandy coasts (Seine-maritime, Calvados, Manche) to be observed in July on the Brittany coasts (Côtes d'Armor). Since then, these observations have been regular on these 7 departments on the coasts but also sometimes inland.

    These mortalities are monitored as part of the SAGIR network (national system for monitoring the health of wildlife) which carries out analyses. ANSES's National Reference Laboratory (NRL) has confirmed the presence of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in more than sixty events in wildlife on the Channel coast.

    Note that the term "event" does not give the number of animals found dead (this number can vary from 1 to ten).

    Temporary wildlife control zones (ZCT-FS) have been established, in consultation with the DDecPPs concerned, around confirmed cases of HPAI. In these areas, various measures have been introduced, the objective of which is to strengthen surveillance of wildlife and poultry farms and to raise awareness among professionals of compliance with biosecurity measures.

    This increase in cases of HPAI in wildlife extends to other countries of the European Union, cases essentially grouped together at coastal level.

    The situation is exceptional (never encountered in France before) due to its scale and the period when the detections are taking place.
    Although the regulatory level of risk has returned to the negligible level (see below), environmental contamination remains high in the regions where wild bird mortality and the spread of this contamination are observed (and the risk of introduction of the virus into poultry farms) can occur as a result of movements to settle populations of wild birds.

    Strict compliance with biosecurity rules and bird monitoring are more important than ever.

    More information on the ESA platform

    Number of outbreaks and cases since May 17, 2022


    Protection measures in the event of outbreaks and cases in wildlife

    Health policy measures are taken each time an outbreak is detected in order to limit the spread of the virus:
    • Slaughter of outbreaks and, if necessary, preventive slaughter of animals within a perimeter defined by prefectural order to limit the spread of the disease;
    • Cleaning and disinfection of homes;
    • Prohibition of poultry movements in the protection (ZP) and surveillance (ZS) zones defined around the outbreaks.
    When it comes to confirmed cases in wildlife, temporary control zones (ZCT) are set up.

    REMINDER : The consumption of meat, foie gras and eggs – and more generally of any poultry-based food product – does not present any risk for humans .

    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela