Another European state records avian flu in poultry

As of January 22, 10 European countries have registered one or more outbreaks in poultry with the Animal Disease Information System of the European Commission.

Doctor using red pen draw circle on avian influenza
Doctor using red pen draw circle on avian influenza
mashi_naz | Bigstock

As of January 22, 10 European countries have registered one or more outbreaks in poultry with the Animal Disease Information System of the European Commission (EC). The System has recorded a total of 221 outbreaks in 2022 up to that date. This is an increase of 71 since the previous update dated January 16.

Of the total, France has reported the most outbreaks (141), followed by Hungary (28), and Italy and Poland (each with 14).

Also reporting cases through the system have been Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands. 

Moldova registers first detection of H5N1 HPAI in poultry

Over the past week, veterinary authorities of seven European states have officially registered new outbreaks of HPAI in poultry flocks.

For Moldova, the outbreak was the country’s first ever recorded, according to the report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Testing positive were those in a flock of 2,800 poultry described as a “backyard” in the notification. Around 620 of the birds died at the premises in the central district of Telenesti. 

Further outbreaks on farms in France, the Netherlands, Poland

Over the past week, the Dutch animal health agency confirmed with the OIE outbreaks of HPAI on three more commercial farms. In each case, the H5N1 serotype was detected.

With infections confirmed during the third week of January were two flocks of broilers, and one of laying hens. With around 47,000 and 170,000 birds, the broiler farms were in the provinces of North Brabant and North Holland. The layer premises was in Lelystad in Flevoland had more than 24,000 organic birds.

Since the OIE report, the Dutch government has confirmed a further outbreak. Located in Gelderland, this affected a flock of around 3,000 breeding ducks. Authorities are testing at six farms within 1km of the outbreak, and 14 more within a radius of 3km.

Since the first cases in poultry in October last year, the Netherlands has recorded 16 HPAI outbreaks. Directly impacted have been around 970,000 birds in eight provinces.

In France, the number of confirmed HPAI outbreaks in commercial poultry has risen to 281. Infections have also been detected in six backyard flocks. This is according to the French agriculture ministry (as of January 25). Registering the most outbreaks has been the departments of Landes (with 186) and Pyrénées Atlantiques (50). One or more cases have been detected in five more departments.

As of January 27, Poland’s chief veterinary office confirmed there have been HPAI cases in 15 poultry flocks so far this year.

Among the latest outbreaks were one at a farm with almost 4,000 meat ducks in the central Polish province of Lodz, and a backyard flock in Subcarpathia in the south-east. 

Four countries report further cases in poultry

Over the past week, Germany’s veterinary authority has confirmed with the OIE three new outbreaks of HPAI linked to the H5N1 virus variant. All were backyard flocks — two in Brandenburg and one in Bavaria.

Meanwhile, birds have tested positive for the same variant at two premises in Austria, and one in Slovakia.

In England, the number of HPAI outbreaks in poultry currently stands at 72. Latest to be confirmed is an outbreak among captive birds in North Yorkshire, according to the agriculture department. Meanwhile, a sixth outbreak has been recorded by the Scottish government.

Over the past week, the agriculture department has announced all avian flu surveillance zones have been lifted across Northern Ireland.

“These Surveillance Zones are the last local movement restrictions to be lifted,” said Minister Edwin Poots. “While this is very welcome news, the risk of avian influenza has not disappeared, and we are certainly not out of the woods yet.” 

Despite this easing of restrictions, the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) remains in place in Northern Ireland — as it does across the United Kingdom (U.K.). Among these measures, all poultry and captive birds must remain housed, or kept apart from wild birds.

According to the minister, as of January 20, there have been five outbreaks in Northern Ireland, and six in the Republic of Ireland.

Cases in European wild birds approach 600

European countries continue to report new HPAI outbreaks among European wild birds. Total outbreaks stand at 574, according to the EC animal disease system, as of January 22. Of these, 232 were registered in the previous week, including first cases of the year for Latvia and Norway.

Of the 22 states registering cases through this system, Germany has detected the most outbreaks in wild species (298), followed by the Netherlands (99), and Denmark (38).

In the great majority of these cases, the H5N1 HPAI virus serotype has been detected. However, a second wild bird in Denmark has recently tested positive for the H5N8 virus variant. In Mecklenburg-West Pomerania in northern Germany, a wild bird has tested positive for the H5N3 variant. This is the first positive case in the state since May of 2021.

To the OIE, the French authorities have recently declared one HPAI outbreak series “resolved.” Over a period of about one month, this involved 65 cases — all at a zoo in the department of Aude in the south of France.

Among the countries not covered by the EC system is the U.K. Bringing the total so far this winter to 152, 18 more wild birds have recently tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.

Page 1 of 173
Next Page