The news is out: [PARIS (Reuters) – A highly contagious and deadly form of avian influenza is spreading rapidly in Europe, putting the poultry industry on alert with previous outbreaks in mind that saw tens of millions of birds culled and significant economic losses.
The disease, commonly called bird flu, has been found in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and, for the first time this week in Croatia, Slovenia and Poland, after severely hitting Russia, Kazakhstan and Israel.
The vast majority of cases are in migrating wild birds but outbreaks have been reported on farms, leading to the death or culling of at least 1.6 million chickens and ducks so far around the region.
In the Netherlands, Europe’s largest exporter of chicken meat and eggs, nearly 500,000 chickens died or were culled due to the virus this autumn, and over 900,000 hens died on one single farm in Poland this week, the countries’ ministries said.
“The risk of a transfer in poultry farms and more cases among wild birds is higher than in the past two years because of the massive appearance of various bird flu viruses in Europe,” said a spokeswoman for the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute, Germany’s federal animal disease research agency.
Russia’s poultry death toll reached 1.8 million by the end of October, with nearly 1.6 million of that on one farm near Kazakhstan, data by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) showed.]
Screwing up another food source. Challenging Nature. When and where will they stop?