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France to consider avian influenza vaccines

ducks

FRANCE is set to consider whether vaccination against avian influenza is an option following one of the worst winter seasons for the disease on record.

Officials and professional organisations are working a ‘roadmap’ to better prepare the country for the next outbreak in the country.

See also: Why don’t we vaccinate against bird flu?

Close to 500 farms – mainly foie gras-producing smallholdings in the South West – were infected with avian influenza over the 2020/2021 winter.

More than 3.5 million birds in the country have been culled, according to Le Monde newspaper.

The French government has released close to €90m to compensate for economic losses that the sector has faced – in addition to compensation offered to farmers for culled birds.

‘Roadmap’

There is now a movement that will attempt to prepare the country for another outbreak by creating a ‘’roadmap”.

Measures under consideration include:

  • Knowing ‘in real time’ the number of poultry present on all farms
  • Anticipating the risk of disease and planning to reduce the number of birds in risk areas
  • Improved governance
  • Improved biosecurity across the sector
  • Analysing the impact and feasibility of vaccinating birds ‘from 2022′.

Julien Denormandie, the French minister for agriculture and food, said the roadmap was on track and would create a more protective system for all sectors.