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Bird flu cases in wild birds falling in EU

by 5m Editor
14 June 2006, at 12:00am

EU - Incidences of bird flu in wild birds in the EU are falling, according to a 10-month survelliance programme by EU's designated reference laboratory in Weybridge, UK.

Bird flu cases in wild birds falling in EU - EU - Incidences of bird flu in wild birds in the EU are falling, according to a 10-month survelliance programme by EU's designated reference laboratory in Weybridge, UK. Take me to eFeedLink

741 cases of bird flu, most of them confirmed as the deadly H5N1 strain, have been detected in wild birds in 13 member states in February to May this year. More than 300 of those cases were found in Germany. All four outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu in poultry in the EU were swiftly dealt with and no human case of the H5N1 virus was reported in the EU.

Starting from February with 200 cases, the figure climbed to a peak of 362 cases in March before declining to 162 in April and 17 in May. Swan was the most common wild bird species to be infected by bird flu, making up six out of ten cases. Ducks and geese were the next two most common species to be infected. The fight against bird flu in Europe has focused on preventing the spread of the disease to domestic flocks from wild birds.

The EU has intensified its programmes for the surveillance and early detection of bird flu, both in wild birds and poultry while co-financing member states' surveillance programmes. The feared spread of the virus in domestic poultry in Europe has heightened public fears about eating chicken, with consumption falling by more than half in some EU states. In some countries, such as Italy, demand has fallen by up to 70 percent.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reported that outbreaks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have caused reductions in poultry consumption, increased trade bans and resulted in plunging prices. Bird flu has also affected the US$42 billion dollar feed sector in Europe, with demand falling as much as 40 percent in some countries, the FAO stated.

Source: eFeedLink - 14th June 2006

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