Vigilance after the discovery of the body of a seagull contaminated with avian flu

The authorities are closely monitoring the island of Ré after the discovery of a corpse of a herring gull contaminated by the avian influenza virus, announced on Monday the prefect of Charente-Maritime Nicolas Basselier. Five municipalities on the Ile de Ré, including that of Ars-en-Ré where the bird was found, have been placed on heightened vigilance.

They represent a temporary control zone (ZCT), for a minimum period of 21 days which results for example in the isolation of farmed birds. “Poultry and other captive birds must be kept in confinement, in order to prohibit potential contact with wild birds”, details the prefecture in a press release.

Don’t touch a dead bird

The prefecture continues: “Any appearance of clinical signs suggestive of avian influenza (increase in mortality, significant drop in production data) is immediately reported to the departmental directorate for the protection of populations by the holder or the veterinarian. These measures apply to working farms as well as to all individuals. All are encouraged to strengthen their biosecurity measures, particularly concerning equipment and means of transport.

As a reminder, the consumption of meat, foie gras and eggs, and more generally of any poultry-based food product, does not present a risk for humans. And in case of discovery of a dead bird, do not touch it but note the location of the corpse, or geolocate it. You should then contact the French Office for Biodiversity on 05 46 74 95 20 or the Federation of Charente-Maritime Hunters on 05 46 59 14 89.

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