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Commercial Flocks Infected with H5N8 in Germany and France


A number of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza have occurred in the nations of the E.U. all attributed to H5N8 avian influenza shed by migratory waterfowl. 


Reuters reports that separate cases of H5N8 avian influenza as confirmed by the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, occurred in a turkey grow-out unit and a duck farm near Cloppenburg in Lower Saxony.  It is unknown whether the duck farm used free-range management that would expose flocks to infection.  It is likely that the turkey operation used confined housing.


Authorities in France have announced preemptive culling of 400,000 commercial waterfowl in a replay of the 2017 epornitic.  According to Reuters three quarters of the sixty-one diagnosed outbreaks of avian influenza in late 2020 have occurred in the Landes region with a high concentration of duck and goose farms. Approximately 200,000 ducks and geese have been depleted in this ongoing outbreak. 


France is the only nation in the E.U. that has exercised preemptive slaughter, presumably with compensation.  Given that this ‘control’ measure was carried out only two years ago it is questioned whether vaccination might be a more financially and epidemiologically acceptable alternative notwithstanding the export implications.




Location of Cloppenberg, Upper Saxony, Germany

Location of the Landes Region in Costal France