AI: French breeders will be able to gradually repopulate their farms

The stabilization of the avian influenza epizootic in farms over a large part of the territory – particularly in Pays-de-la-Loire – now opens the door to a strategy of gradual restocking on farms. The system, concerted with the inter-professional organizations, ensures that any new runaway is prevented and that sensitive sites (hatcheries and breeding farms) are protected in a context where wildlife mortality remains high in certain regions.

Posted on Mar 02 ,00:05

AI: French breeders will be able to gradually repopulate their farms

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, Marc Fesneau, reaffirmed before professionals in the poultry sector the commitment of the State alongside breeders. All players are mobilizing to collectively build a more resilient sector.

To date, 308 outbreaks in breeding have been recorded on the national territory. The health situation appears to have stabilized for a few weeks in the Pays-de-la-Loire region and in the South-West. The number of weekly outbreaks in the Pays-de-la-Loire region has gradually decreased, thanks to the strengthening of management measures and the reduction of poultry densities.

Vigilance remains, however, required throughout the national territory: six outbreaks have been declared since February 13 in a very dense breeding area of the Côtes d'Armor. Contamination of wildlife remains high throughout the national territory and low temperatures favor the survival of the virus in the environment.

The improvement in the health situation in the Pays-de-la-Loire region makes it possible to initiate a repopulation strategy . The reinstatement of animals in farms will begin in the least dense areas of waterfowl in the coming days. The reinstatement of waterfowl will remain prohibited until May 15 in the 45 densest municipalities but also within a radius of 3 kilometers around 30 farms with high strategic stakes for avian genetics.

The collaborative work around the vaccine strategy continues with the objective of a decision on the scenario to be retained in May. A first step was taken on February 20 with the publication of the European delegated regulation authorizing the use of vaccination against highly pathogenic avian influenza in the European Union. In addition to financing part of the cost of the upcoming vaccination campaign, the Ministry of Agriculture remains mobilized to successfully complete the next important steps by the summer: the results of the experiment on the vaccination of ducks ; validation of the vaccine strategy and the technical and economic conditions of its development ; exchanges with international trading partners, etc.

Finally, the reflection aimed at building a shared strategy to strengthen the resilience of the poultry sector to health risks is continuing. The themes identified relate in particular to avian genetics, biosecurity and the integration of farms in the territories. The poultry interprofessions will formalize the commitments of the poultry sectors to gain resilience and sovereignty by mid-June 2023 .

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