A case of bird flu detected near Le Havre, restrictions imposed in the sector

The corpse of a gannet infected with avian flu was discovered on August 3, 2022 in Octeville-sur-Mer (Seine-Maritime), near Le Havre.
The corpse of a gannet infected with avian flu was discovered on August 3, 2022 in Octeville-sur-Mer (Seine-Maritime), near Le Havre. (©Pixabay)

A temporary control area with many restrictions has been set up by the prefecture of the Seine Maritime in the sector ofOcteville-sur-Merclose to Haven. This decision taken by an order dated August 18, 2022 follows the discovery, on the territory of the municipality, of a corpse of a gannet contaminated by the Avian Flu (or avian influenza).

Four municipalities concerned

The corpse of the seabird was found on August 3. Laboratory analyzes confirmed “contamination with the avian influenza virus highly pathogenicunder type H5N1”, indicates the prefecture in its decree.

As a result, a temporary control zone (ZCT) has been established for a minimum of 21 days. Outraged Octeville-sur-Merthis area includes the following municipalities: Fontaine-la-Mallet, Le Havre and Holy Address.

Farmed birds must be isolated

The entry into force of the ZCT is accompanied by several measures and restrictions. The decree thus stipulates the “census of all places of detention of poultry, commercial or non-commercial farms, and other captive birds”. Veterinary visits must be carried out “without delay” to “check the state of health of the birds and compliance with biosecurity measures”.

“Poultry and other captive birds must be kept in confinement […], in order to prohibit potential contact with wild birds, ”writes the prefecture. “Any appearance of clinical signs suggestive of avian influenza (increased mortality, significant drop in production data) is immediately reported to the departmental directorate for the protection of populations by the holder or the veterinarian. »

Among the other preventive measures imposed on farms:

  • “Appropriate means of disinfection must be used at the entrances and exits of buildings housing birds”;
  • “Movements into and out of poultry holdings and other captive birds are prohibited”, except by way of derogation;
  • “The movement of people, mammals of domestic species, vehicles and equipment to or from bird farms should be avoided as much as possible”;
  • “No corpse of poultry or other captive birds must leave the farms in the zone”;
  • “No poultry feed or any object likely to spread the virus […] must not leave the farms unless authorised”;
  • “The transport and spreading of poultry manure […] or droppings and waste litter of other captive birds are prohibited”.

It should be noted that “meat and eggs from poultry held in ZCTs can be sold without special conditions to consumers”.

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Restrictions for hunters

Regarding hunting, the prefecture prohibits “the transport and introduction into the natural environment of game birds, including galliformes”, as well as “the transport and use of decoys for hunting waterfowl”.

In addition, wild birds frequenting the ZCT are subject to “enhanced surveillance”.

Finally, “means of raising public awareness of the risk of avian influenza will be put in place, within the municipalities of the temporary control zone and in all the municipalities along the Seine-Maritime coast”.

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