Poultry farmers in the Northeast expect a year-round threat from avian influenza in the future. In the past, the pathogen appeared seasonally, said Silvia Ey, managing director of the poultry industry association in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. That seems to be the end of it. Rather, they expect a uniform appearance throughout the year.
In connection with bird migration and the introduction of wild birds, there have been outbreaks in holdings in this country in the past, especially in the cold season. Recently, however, there have been records and outbreaks in Northern Europe all year round. In the north-east, the pathogen was detected in gulls in north-west Mecklenburg and Schwerin in April. Previously, in March, there was an outbreak in a turkey farm in the Ludwigslust-Parchim district. Around 16,900 animals had been culled.
According to a current report by the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, the number of outbreaks in poultry is declining across Europe. However, the risk of wild birds entering German holdings is still classified as high.
Ey called for compliance with hygiene measures, including hobbyists. The spread after the national show of breed poultry breeders in November last year showed how quickly the virus spread. Even if one or the other hobby owner might have to smile when he has to change shoes when entering his chicken coop, such precautionary measures are important.
In addition to the economic damage caused by outbreaks in holdings, one should not underestimate the psychological burden on employees if entire stocks have to be killed. Problems would also arise if consumers wanted free-range eggs, for example, but the animals were not allowed outside as a precautionary measure. After a certain period of time, the eggs would then have to be declared differently.
Ey hopes for the possible introduction of vaccinations for poultry. However, these should not lead to sick animals just not being recognized. In addition, vaccinations should not entail any restrictions on trade in the corresponding products.
According to Ey, about 7.6 million broilers and 3.5 million laying hens as well as about 650,000 turkeys are kept in stocks of 1000 or more animals in MV. The members of the Poultry Industry Association MV kept around 65 percent of these stocks in their companies.
FLI on the bird flu database with evidence GWV-MV