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AI in Turkey Flocks in Northern Germany

by 5m Editor
22 December 2008, at 6:41am

GERMANY - An outbreak of low-pathogenic avian influenza (H5N3) has been reported for the area of Cloppenburg in northern Germany in mid-December.

Fourteen turkey flocks have been tested positive and about 200,000 birds had to be destroyed. About one third of the German turkey production comes from the district of Cloppenburg. Market observers do not expect a significant impact on the German turkey meat market.

AI – Fourteen New Cases of Low-path AI Confirmed in Northern Germany

Since 11 December, fourteen cases of low-path AI (H5N3) have been confirmed exclusively in turkey stocks in the Cloppenburg region in Lower Saxony – Northern Germany. The local authorities are systematically testing all the poultry flocks for AI infection. The veterinarians report that the H5N3 is extremely difficult to identify. It can happen that some of the flocks had already been infected for a longer period without noticing it. The fast speed of detection of the past six days is the result of fast inspection work and does not necessarily mean that the disease is spreading quickly.

The authorities are in the process of destroying about 200,000 birds. This represents about seven percent of the turkey production of the district of Cloppenburg. Cloppenburg itself is the main center of turkey production in Germany accounting for about 30 per cent.

Since the birds are quite heavy but not very fat the incineration causes a problem. It is likely that part of the dead birds have to be stored on the farm and sufficiently covered with corn silage for three weeks before they can be finally destroyed.

The parishes of Boesel, Garrel and Frieseute within the district of Cloppenburg have been declared as a quarantine zone. All poultry stocks within this area were now under official observation. Veterinaries are continuing their inspection of the poultry stocks inside the exclusion zones. The poultry trade at the same time extended its own examination program. In addition to the inspection program the Cloppenburg district banned any new build up of poultry flocks during the period of quarantine of 21 days after the last detection and finish of the disinfection work.

The AI infection has not yet been transferred over to other poultry although this region is also a major chicken producer. For the moment market observers do not expect significant impact on the turkey market since it is very well supplied.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
- You can view the full report by clicking here.