Since this morning (Thursday 5 January and Friday 20 January, the killing of waterfowls in liver fat, mainly ducks, started in breeding farms of the south of the Landes, the Gers and the Hautes-Pyrénées. Ironically, these animals will be slaughtered prematurely because they are raised outdoors, and it is in this open environment, almost natural, that grows the new flu strain lethal to these birds, nicely called H5N8.
“Contrary to the H5N1 strain of the last year (2015-2016), the N8 kills the ducks and geese it infects. At the end of 2015 the epidemic was related to a virus endemic. This year the infection is very different since these are migratory birds that have contaminated farms, in the Landes, but also the Gers and the Hautes-Pyrénées. Half of the farms concerned are located in the Gers”, summed up in the early afternoon to The Forum Dominique Graciet, president of the Chamber of agriculture of the Landes, a few minutes before the meeting on this subject organized with the producers of ducks in the hall of Cazères-sur-l’adour (Landes), in the company of the prefect of the department, Frederick Périssat.
On the 95 infective foci identified in the middle of the day (compared to 89 this morning (Thursday), primarily in the South-West, the ministry of Agriculture considers in particular that those of the departments of Lot-et-Garonne or the Tarn are stabilized. Where the culling measures in part applied in unstable areas located in the Landes, the Gers and the Hautes-Pyrénées. Between 800,000 and 1.3 million of healthy ducks, writes Dominique Graciet, who is also the president of the Chamber of agriculture of New-Aquitaine, will be preventively culled and destroyed to stop the spread of the epidemic and, barely six months after the end of the previous health crisis, avian, breeders have the morale in the socks.
Those who follow a complete life cycle, from the breeding of the duck to its slaughter, are not affected by measures to combat the epidemic, which do not target the resale of ducks live. Since the end of 2015 and the new range of biosecurity measures a lot of progress has been made, but there are still improvements to be put in place in particular in the cleaning of cages that are transported waterfowls, judge Dominique Graciet. The entire sector is once again at the foot of the wall, but the president of the Chamber of agriculture forecasts that this second epidemic will be, because of his migration background, which is much less serious than that of last year.