“A long awaited message to many”
It has been six weeks since the last confirmed case of bird flu in domestic poultry appeared in Skåne and the heat will now slow the spread of the infection. As a result, the Swedish Board of Agriculture has announced that the level of protection has now been reduced also for commercial poultry farms.
After consulting with the Swedish Veterinary Institute, SVA, the Swedish Board of Agriculture has decided to lower the level of protection against avian influenza, which means that all poultry and birds in captivity can now go outside. ‘outside. The organization of fairs, competitions and similar events as well as the sale of eggs will now be allowed again.
Warmer weather makes it harder for the virus to survive in the environment, which means a lower risk of spread to poultry, according to Hekan Henriksson, chief veterinarian at the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
– It has been a long and difficult time for all poultry farmers in the country, so this is a much awaited message for many, said Hakan.
There are still risks
The majority of the migratory waterfowl that the flu brought to Sweden have now left the poultry-intensive areas of the country and are heading to their nesting grounds. However, there is always a risk of infection.
Since domestic bird species can be infected with the avian influenza virus, wild birds may pose a risk even if migratory birds are transported by air. The risk of poultry catching avian influenza is now considered small but not negligible, and it is likely that fewer viruses will be found among wild birds and in the environment, explains Maria Norremark, epidemiologist at VAS who therefore recommends a direct and indirect contact between wild birds and poultry.
For poultry with outdoor recreation potential, it is particularly important to provide shelter or indoor food and water and to take measures to reduce the incidence of wild birds. And at the slightest sign of illness, the Swedish Board of Agriculture urges to contact a veterinarian.
So far this year, 22 flocks of poultry have been infected with bird flu in Sweden, mainly in southern Sweden. The eruption of the 2020-2021 season will therefore be the largest to occur in Sweden.
The article was published on Tuesday, June 01, 2021
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