FRANCE, Paris. More and more farms complain about the losses of their animals. The focus of infections is shifting from the northeast to the southwest of the French Republic.
In France, the spread of avian influenza has accelerated sharply in recent days. According to the Paris Ministry of Agriculture, 102 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) had been reported in commercial livestock farms nationwide as of Jan. 11, up from just 46 at the end of last week. In wild poultry and in private holdings, 21 and five cases, respectively, are currently registered. In the past few days, only one new case has been detected in each of these categories.
The first outbreaks in commercial poultry farming in France were observed near the Belgian border. Now the focus has shifted to the southwest of the country; this region had already been hit hard during the previous epidemic. Of the currently known cases, 57 are in the Landes department alone. Most affected is the Chalosse region in the south of the department, where duck farming for the production of foie gras is of great importance.
According to the regional farmers' association(FDSEA), the virus responsible for the current epidemic is believed to be more contagious than previous strains and can also infect chicken birds more easily. Of the infections known to date, ducks account for about 60 percent and chicken birds 40 percent, according to FDSEA; in previous years, 90 percent affected ducks.
Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE