5 bird flu cases in wild birds trigger alert for the Spanish poultry industry

Hygiene & Biosecurity

Stricter biosecurity measures were announced in Catalonia as AI has already impacted the sector in other parts of Europe.

Posted on Jan 11 ,11:33

5 bird flu cases in wild birds trigger alert for the Spanish poultry industry

Catalonia has intensified the surveillance and protection of the Highly Pathogenicity Avian Influence (HPAI), H5N1, after confirming the presence of the virus in five wild birds located in Lerida. 4 swans and a stork were found dead last month in the area. Lab results confirming the infection with H5N1 virus have been released this week by the IRTA-CReSA laboratory.
For the last few years, Spain hasn't been hit by bird flu outbreaks and the country still has the status of ‘free of avian influenza’ and is free to export poultry and poultry products to third markets. Nevertheless, the virus is now present in poultry farms in Portugal and France and threatens to spread to the Spanish territory. Stricter measures have been adopted in the country including a ban on hunting wild geese or ducks, lockdown of birds in poultry farms, and protection of water tanks in these farms so it can not be accessible to wild birds.
As for Catalonia, a resolution is being prepared in which biosafety measures are extrapolated to all municipalities in Catalonia, beyond risk areas. This resolution, which will be signed in the coming days, will be in force from the day after publication until April 20, since it is during this period when the risk is highest due to the greater influx of migrated birds from the north of Europe.

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