Avian influenza, better known as bird flu, of the winter of 2021-2022, continued to circulate this summer among wild birds. About 130 individual cases or group of cases have been confirmed on the national territory since this summer.
“This situation, never encountered in France until now, makes it more necessary than ever to respect the preventive measures in force to protect poultry farms”, indicate the services of the Allier prefecture.
Faced with this situation, the level of risk of introduction of the disease by wildlife has been raised by the Ministry of Agriculture to “moderate” since the beginning of October. This measure entails in particular the prohibition of gatherings and the compulsory sheltering of poultry in the municipality of Gannay-sur-Loire, located in a zone at particular risk (wetland, crossed by the migration corridors of wild birds).
More recently, between October 25 and 28, four corpses of mute swans found along the Cher river in the town of Vallon-en-Sully tested positive for type H5 avian influenza.
A perimeter and measures for 38 municipalities
A temporary control zone has been defined, by prefectural decree, on the 38 municipalities located within a radius of 20 kilometers around the place of discovery of the sick swans: Audes, Bizeneuille, Braize, Le Brethon, Cérilly, Chambérat, La Chapelaude, Chazemais , Cosne-d’Allier, Courçais, Désertines, Domérat, Estivarelles, Hérisson, Huriel, Lételon, Louroux-Bourbonnais, Haut-Bocage, Meaulne-Vitray, Mesples, Nassigny, Reugny, Saint-Angel, Saint-Bonnet-Tronçais, Saint -Caprais, Saint-Désiré, Saint-Eloi-d’Allier, Saint-Victor, Sauvagny, Theneuille, Urçay, Vallon-Sully, Vaux, Venas, Verneix, Vieure, Le Vilhain and Viplaix. This ZCT also includes 17 municipalities located in the department of Cher.
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The prefect of Allier has also introduced measures to prevent the spread of this disease to birds. This decree can be consulted in all the town halls concerned. The main measures concern: censuses of bird keepers, for individuals and professionals. Strict application of biosecurity measures and prevention by sheltering all birds, whether kept by individuals or professionals.
Movements are authorized subject to favorable self-checks, 48 working hours before the movement in this ZCT of 20 km. In addition, a ban on gatherings of poultry within a radius of 20 km around the town of Vallon-en-Sully is also in place.
The measures also include: the establishment of enhanced surveillance in commercial farms with more than 250 birds raising waterfowl, waterfowl and turkeys.
Finally, hunting is subject to certain restrictions, in particular for the transport and release of game birds from farms located in these 38 municipalities (prior authorization from the Department responsible for the protection of populations), as well as on decoys (game of water).
Report dead birds, do not touch their corpses
It is essential to report any discovery of dead wild birds whose origin of mortality is unknown by contacting the SAGIR network through the French Office for Biodiversity at 04.70.48.06.04 or the Departmental Federation of hunters on 04 70 34 10 00.
In order to avoid any risk of propagation, it is important not to handle the corpses.
The consumption of meat, eggs or derivative products presents no risk for humans.
The Prefect of Allier calls for vigilance from all actors, particularly veterinarians, breeders, hunters, private owners of poultry yards and other holders of captive birds, to do everything possible to limit the spread. of this virus.
These measures remain in effect for at least 21 days after the detection of the last sick bird.
More information on the prefecture website here