European Disease Picture

Food Safety News has reported that Lithuania has rejected more than 40 tonnes of poultry meat, imported from Poland, Hungary and Romania, between June and August, because of contamination with Salmonella enteritidis.

In all, Lithuanian authorities have withdrawn 100 tonnes of poultry meat in the first six months of 2020.

Three public warnings have been issued by Polish authorities about Salmonella in poultry meat and eggs. As well as enteritidis, they have found S. Newport and S. Virchow. S. enteritidis was found on eggshells.

Data from the Rapid Alert Systems for Food & Feed (RASFF) portal shows alerts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Italy, France and Romania. Not a healthy picture.

On top of this comes the news of multiple outbreaks of HPAI, H5N8 in southern central Russia, near the border with Kazakhstan.

The latter imposed restrictions on imports from Russia, where the infection has also been found in wild ducks.

Many Waterfowl species breed in this region, and in the next few weeks, will migrate westwards, including the UK.

The risk to poultry in the UK remains officially as low for introduction of infection, but now is the time to be extra vigilant, and tighten biosecurity.

Further south, Saudi Arabia, who are normally self-sufficient in the egg production from their 19 million layers, for the per capita consumption of 150, suffered a serious outbreak of the same H5N8 influenza in the spring.

This resulted in a 30% drop in production and the necessity of importing from the Ukraine and the EU.

Since their production is primarily in cages, it begs the question as to how such a widespread impact came about.

Hence, obviously, biosecurity leaves a lot to be desired.