AVIAN INFLUENZA

Back in December, we reported an outbreak of H5N8 on a 1.6 million unit in Russia.

It is now reported by the Vektor Virology and Biotechnology Laboratory, a kind of equivalent to our Porton Down, that 7 workers on that farm have tested positive for H5N8.

This is claimed to be the first recorded case of transmission of this strain to humans. None of the workers suffered any significant symptoms and our FSA continues to support the fact that eggs and poultry meat can be freely consumed without fear of catching Avian Flu.

The Vektor Laboratory has made one of the vaccines against Covid-19.

The Netherlands imposed their lockdown on all poultry in October.

In The Netherlands, as of February 12, all free range birds that have been inside for over 16 weeks have been downgraded to Barn eggs. However if you had a new flock starting to lay during the 16 weeks period then these can still be sold as free range, up till the moment that they have been inside for 16 weeks. So birds that came onto the farm 1st week of January when 16 weeks old, are still classified as free range till they are 32 weeks old.

In Germany they will have reached 16 weeks lockdown of the birds this weekend, but it varies by county, as different areas started lockdown on different dates.

In Belgium it was last weekend that the birds have been inside for 16 weeks and therefore will have to be marketed as barn, by next week.

Wild birds, especially wildfowl, will soon be returning to their breeding sites.

The stimulus of preparation for the journey and general increase in activity, will result in any virus they are carrying to be shed in large quantities, causing high risk to any exposed poultry.

It is unfortunate to see reports from Scotland and N. Ireland of increase in abandoned domestic poultry and those with less than 50 birds, not required to register, flouting regulations and, by being exposed, forming a great risk to commercial flocks.

The number of commercial flock outbreaks has gone down:-

Germany        1/2/21              14,000 turkeys in Brandenburg.

Bulgaria         2/2/21              99,000 layers in North. Authorities plan to cull 160,000 ducks.

England          6/2/21              Layer unit at Redcar.

Scotland         12/2/21            H5N1 14,000 gamebirds at Glenrothes.