Many farmers were dreading it. On November 16, the Minister of Agriculture and Food has confirmed there was one case of the Avian Flu in Haute-Corse, and more exactly in the animal unit in a garden center set not far from Bastia. This avian flu case, the first one in France this year, has been detected "following abnormal mortalities have been noticed in poultries hold" Minister Julien Denormandie explained in a release. Unfortunately, the 200 to 300 poultries of the farm have been killed in order to avoid any potential spread of the virus.
New avian flu case in Yvelines
Only four days after the announcement, the National Food Administration confirms a second avian flu case has been reported in Yvelines, Western Paris. And once again, the case has been detected in a pet store in the Ile-de-France department. Analyses showed "assessment of the H5N8 virus, identical to the once found in Haute Corse, non-communicable to Men" and the "epidemiologic investigation is going on to identify bonds between these two clusters and the origin of the contamination" the Minister of Agriculture and Food said this Thursday evening.
Like the contaminated farm in Haute Corse, birds of this pet store in Yvelines have been unfortunately euthanized. Furthermore, protection and surveillance zones have been set up all around the cluster.
Following these two avian flu cases confirmed in France, the minister does not exclude other cases likely to be reported in the country. "Our goal is to limit the spread, it can be avoided as far as measures are made" he said.
The entire country place on high level alert
"To limit the spread of the virus and prevent it as much as possible from reaching professional poultry industries" minister Julien Denormandie calls "especially pet stores, haulage contractors and private owners of poultry to strictly comply with protective measures against the avian flu".
Earlier this week, the Minister already "gathered all services of the minister and the national laboratory of reference, and (has) decided to place the country on high risk alert".
Therefore, new protective measures have been set up in France including forced isolation for poultries. Farmers have to isolate them or set up nets to avoid any contact with wild birds. Furthermore, living poultry gatherings are banned, especially on markets.
This past Noveber 5, 45 departments have been placed on "high" alert. The minister also wanted to alert farmes. "Keep an eye on your poultries" he said before reminding that "eating meat, foie gras and eggs - and more generally any food product - is risk-free for humans".
For the record, south-western duck farmers have been already hit by the avian flu in the winters 2015/2016 and 2016/2017. Massive culls had been then decided to get rid of the virus.