Italian poultry and egg producers are to receive EU funding following the devastating bird flu outbreaks in 2017 and 2018.

The European Commission has said producers hit by the avian influenza outbreak will receive a share of €32.1m, which will be matched by national funds, bringing the total to €64.2m.

The funding covers the outbreak between 1 October 2017 and 30 June 2018 when 45 cases involving poultry, ducks, turkeys and guinea fowls were confirmed across the country.

The Commission said Italy took all the necessary measures to control and monitor the situation and prevent further cases.

The outbreak, according to the Commission, had a substantial impact on a large number of egg and poultry meat producers.

For example, fallowing periods were prolonged, placing of birds was prohibited and movements were restricted on holdings of all types of poultry in the areas affected by the outbreaks.

This led to a loss of production of hatching eggs, eggs for the retail market, live animals and poultry meat.

The measures are allowed under the Common Agricultural Policy Common Market Organisation.

In March that the Italian public health authority – Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie – said some 2.7 million domestic birds were affected, mostly in the north of the country.

The outbreaks occurred in two distinct epidemic waves – the first between December 2016 and May 2017 and the second between July and December 2017.

The virus circulation was markedly more intense in the second epidemic wave. Control costs amounted to €40m.