Poultry raised in the open air will have to be confined to the major production regions of Brittany and the Pays de la Loire to combat the spread of avian flu, the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Wednesday October 19.
Brittany and Pays de la Loire are respectively the first and second French regions in terms of poultry production.
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In these regions, as well as in the department of Deux-Sèvres, “shelters are mandatory and regular tests in breeding and before any movement are put in place”the ministry said in a statement.
The ” put in place “ of poultry, the time when breeders welcome chicks or ducklings on their farms, “will be conditional on the completion of a favorable biosafety audit”.
If breeders do not comply with these new rules, their compensation may be reduced, specifies the ministry.
A resumption of the virus from the end of July
At the national level, breeders had already had to shelter their poultry since the end of September in areas located on the migration corridors of wild birds.
After a catastrophic 2021-2022 season (more than 21 million poultry slaughtered between the end of November and mid-May), the virus started to hit French farms again from the end of July, exceptionally early.
However, the risk of contamination increases in autumn, thanks to the drop in temperatures and the migration of wild birds to the south.
Already 300,000 farmed poultry slaughtered since the summer
According to an official count started on 1er August, 25 farms were affected in 12 departments, including 17 in the Brittany and Pays de la Loire regions.
The ministry said last week that more than 300,000 poultry had already had to be euthanized.
Even before the resumption of the epizootic this summer, the bill for avian flu amounted to more than a billion euros for the State to compensate for the losses of professionals.
Since 1er August, 16 European countries have spotted the virus on their territory, according to the French platform for epidemiosurveillance in animal health (ESA), Germany and France with the most outbreaks in farms.