Avian influenza also in factory farming: 30,000 chickens are killed
In Northern Germany, factory farming is now being affected by the current bird flu epidemic for the first time. In a company in Schleswig-Holstein, 30,000 chickens have to be killed. Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt has convened a crisis team.
No transmission of the virus subtype found to humans is known
The recurrence of bird flu in Germany worries many citizens. In the meantime, avian influenza has also been found for the first time in a factory with factory farming. No transmission of the virus subtype H5N8 to humans has been known to date. Other viruses, such as H7N9, on the other hand, are demonstrably transferable to humans and can trigger typical bird flu symptoms such as fever, cough and sore throat.
Avian influenza in large-scale operation
Avian influenza is apparently spreading further, a large enterprise is now affected in northern Germany. According to a press release from the state government of Schleswig-Holstein, avian influenza has been officially determined in a poultry farm in the Schleswig-Flensburg district. The national reference laboratory, the Friedrich Löffler Institute (FLI), therefore detected pathogens of the H5N8 subtype.
In Schleswig-Holstein, the poultry pest pathogen has been detected for the first time in a closed animal husbandry. “The company is a chicken husbandry facility with around 30,000 animals. All animals must now be killed in accordance with the avian influenza regulation, ”says the message.
A big challenge for everyone
“This has reached a new level in the currently rampant avian influenza. It is highly aggressive. The situation is worrying and is a major challenge for everyone - animal owners, authorities and laboratories, ”said Schleswig-Holstein's Agriculture Minister Robert Habeck (Greens).
According to the information, the FLI will send a team of epidemiologists to Schleswig-Holstein to clarify the cause of the introduction.
Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt has convened the Central Crisis Unit for Animal Diseases in view of the spread of bird flu. “Due to the current developments, faster, more efficient coordination and decisions are required. The aim is to bundle the containment and control measures and to take all necessary measures to prevent them from spreading further, ”says Schmidt.
At the meetings, a nationwide, uniform, risk-related approach to protection against avian influenza was decided. According to the ministry, poultry houses should be compulsory wherever the likelihood of entry of the highly contagious H5N8 variant is high. These are in particular wetlands, rest areas of migratory and wild birds, but also areas with a high regional density of poultry farms. (ad)