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New HPAI Cases Reported in France

05/22/2023

Authorities in France are investigating and responding to incident cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza.  The recent series of twenty-one outbreaks since the beginning of May have occurred in southwest France principally in the foie gras industry where ducks and geese are held on pasture. Outbreaks of avian influenza have occurred almost continually since early 2021 and have impacted this industry. Veterinary authorities have applied a traditional slaughter slaughter-out policy and in some years even preemptive depopulation of healthy flocks to reduce population density.  Accordingly, France is evaluating vaccination as an adjunct to traditional prevention and control programs that to date have been ineffective. France has recognized the futility of attempting to eradicate a seasonally and regionally endemic disease maintained by a migratory avian reservoir population. Sound familiar?