Avian flu: Touraine on the lookout

ELEVAGE VOLAILLEWhile a first case of contamination has just been detected in Nord-Pas-Calais, five communes in the south of Touraine have been placed at high risk.

The specter of avian influenza strikes again at the gates of French farms. On Saturday, a first case of H5N8 contamination was found in the north. About twenty wild ducks used as “callers” for the hunting of waterfowl were found dead in the commune of Marck, near Calais.

The threat is therefore becoming more and more pressing. Already in mid-November the Ministry of Agriculture put in place strong protective measures after the announcement of several cases of avian influenza in Northern and Eastern Europe. Many wetlands have been classified as “high risk areas”, particularly because of the significant migration of migratory birds. This is the case in the la Brenne ponds sector, on the borders of Indre.

“We know how to handle this kind of situation”

In the south of Touraine, five communes of Lochois are directly concerned: Bossay-sur-Claise, Charnizay, Preuilly-sur-Claise, Tournon-Saint Pierre and Yzeures-sur-Creuse. In these five communes, poultry farms are forced into confinement. The transport of birds is forbidden, as are gatherings (fairs, lounges) and releases of game birds or pigeons. This is bad news for local breeders who can no longer trade normally. “On the eve of the end-of-year celebrations, this falls at the worst moment,” laments Frédérique Alexandre, breeder of chickens and guinea fowl in Saint-Épain, elected in the chamber of agriculture. However, the spokesman for the sector wants to be serene. “We are responsible breeders. Our profession is already very controlled. Today, we know how to handle this kind of situation. ”
For several months now, the clouds have gathered above the poultry farms. This new avian flu warning comes after the last attack of November 2015 which forced the farmers of the Southwest to suspend their production for several weeks. As a result of this episode, the government adopted a decree imposing a biosecurity plan for all livestock farms, which requires numerous preventive measures: establishment of sanitary facilities, disinfection between bands, prohibition of spreading Manure and slurry on the surface … “These measures are binding but they are necessary. We are simply asking for time to explain things, train breeders and deal with investments, “continues Frédérique Alexandre.
In Indre-et-Loire, the ministerial order should come into force on 1 July 2018.

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