ACROSS EUROPE there have been 1,022 highly pathogenic avian influenza incidents since early December, according to new analysis.

The majority of cases in farmed birds were reported in France (442) in the Landes region, largely affecting Foie Gras producers.

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Of the 1,022, 592 in total were in poultry, 421 were wild bird findings, and 9 were detections in captive birds.

The figures were published in the European Food Safety Authority’s (Efsa) latest assessment of bird flu across the continent and the UK.

They cover the period between 8 December last year and 23 February 2021.


Germany recorded 207 detections in wild birds and 50 outbreaks in poultry, while Poland reported 37 outbreaks in poultry and 24 wild bird detections.

Efsa said the risk of infection and the spread between poultry farms remained, particularly in areas with a high density of farms.

Six genotypes of the H5N8 virus have been detected in Europe and Russia, “suggesting a high propensity of these viruses to undergo multiple reassortment events”.

But, it added, “no evidence of fixation of known mutations previously described as associated to zoonotic potential has been observed in HPAI viruses currently circulating in Europe based on the available sequences”.