WattAgNet: Spain has first avian flu case in commercial poultry


Virus continues to strike flocks throughout Europe

Veterinary authorities in Spain have reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) the country’s first outbreak of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza in commercial poultry.

The first signs of the presence of the virus were an increase in mortality among ducks in one of 10 poultry houses on the farm in Girona in the region of Catalonia. A total of 723 birds died and the remaining 17,077 have been humanely destroyed.

Meanwhile, national veterinary agencies have confirmed new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry in France, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany and Italy.

France: 70 new outbreaks confirmed
According to a report from the French agriculture ministryon February 23rd, there have now been 333 confirmed outbreaks of H5N8 HPAI in poultry – an increase of 70 from the previous week. All cases have been in the south-west of the country.

The ministry’s latest weekly report to on the avian flu situation to the OIE records 46 new outbreaks starting between February 6 and 13. Almost all of these were on farms, and the majority were in the department of Landes. More than 218,000 birds died or have been humanely destroyed following detection of the virus, but the number of birds has not been officially recorded for many of these outbreaks and so are not included in that figure.

Although clinical symptoms were observed in a few of these outbreaks, the majority of cases were confirmed through surveillance of poultry in areas where the…


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