Avian flu: faced with an unprecedented spread, Britain restricts its poultry to fight the epidemic

From Monday 7 November in the UK, poultry and domestic birds will be confined to combat bird flu. For 1 year, the country has suffered from the largest epidemic it has known, with 200 confirmed cases over twelve months.

Containment for poultry. As announced last week, the government is restricting domestic birds and poultry to combat the spread of bird flu. Since last October, The Guardian has reported 200 confirmed cases of the disease, enough to speak of an epizootic: an epidemic among animals.

The UK government’s chief veterinarian announced last week that “the risk of captive birds being exposed to the disease has reached such a level that it is necessary to confine all birds until further notice”.

Free-range farming is now banned in the UK in the most vulnerable areas to avoid contact with wild birds as much as possible. The situation is all the more alarming as the southern migration period for migrants begins in autumn. The risk of crossing and transport of pathogens is therefore quite high.

A “very high” risk to wild birds

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control fears a generalization of the epidemic, explains the British daily. Some highly contagious strains can spread among wildlife, making it difficult to control and making bird flu a disease that persists and does not weaken.

Europe is experiencing an unprecedented epidemic: 44.7 million poultry have already been slaughtered to limit the risk of spread in the most vulnerable farms. Between June and September, the figures were 5 times higher than those announced in the same period in 2021. France is also affected by the epidemic. Since August, more than 300,000 birds have had to be killed to reduce the risk of spread.

Leave a Comment