Auch | The avian flu virus continues to rage in the departments of southwestern France, with around fifty new outbreaks in a few days despite a massive slaughter of palmipeds, Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie said on Monday.
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For the Landes department alone, 170 avian influenza outbreaks have been confirmed (they were 127 on Friday), against six in the Gers (four more than on Friday), said Mr. Denormandie during a press point at the prefecture. du Gers where he met professionals in the sector.
This episode of avian flu which made its appearance in the Landes is “perhaps more contagious than that of 2016-2017 which had flattened the industry”, acknowledged the minister.
At the time, avian influenza had led to the slaughter of millions of ducks and prolonged production shutdowns.
“I have decided to requisition a slaughterhouse here (in the Gers) to be able to carry out the slaughtering operations”, he announced.
In this department bordering the Landes, 50,000 palmipeds have already been slaughtered. “And drastic, massive slaughter in an area of 5 km around each identified outbreak” will also take place in “all the affected departments such as Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques”, he assured.
He reaffirmed his support for breeders “in suffering”, stressing that “total compensation is supported by the State, with advances on compensation so that they can arrive quickly”.
The H5N8 strain, which is also rife elsewhere in Europe, was spotted for the first time in a farm in France in early December.
Responding to questions from journalists, Mr. Denormandie ruled out the option of a vaccine, in part because it “would prevent many breeders from exporting their production to countries that do not allow the import of vaccinated products. “.
The minister also swept aside a possible problem related to the size of farms, assuring that “the problem is not the model. It is not he who creates the avian influenza virus, it happens through migratory birds, whether you have a small or a large farm ”.
Finally, he recalled on several occasions that avian influenza was not transmissible to humans: “I say it and say it again, let’s continue to eat chicken, duck, foie gras and eggs, it doesn’t there is absolutely no risk ”.