Outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu in Germany

Published on: 2/22/2016
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On 27 July 2015, Germany’s veterinary authorities notified the European Commission via an ADNS and OIE announcement that a highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N7 had broken out in a poultry flock of 14,104 layer hens in Herzlake Municipality, in the rural district of Emsland, Lower Saxony (see the flags on the map below).

An egg-laying decline, reduced food intake and a higher mortality rate were observed on 24 July. For these reasons, samples were taken to be analysed for avian influenza, and the poultry flock was put under public supervision. The results of the sample analysis were positive for HPAI H7N7 on 25 July. Control measures pursuant to the AI Directive (2005/94) have been initiated. All layer hens in the infected poultry flock were put down on 26 July 2015.The birds in three non-commercial poultry flocks within a one kilometre zone were put down on 27 July 2015.

The epidemiological analysis is under way. The source of the infection is unknown at present.

Infection with LPAI in H7N7 was ascertained at the neighbouring farm of the infected poultry flock on 11 June 2015. At the time, the poultry flock, now infected with HPA IH7N7, was tested without the AI virus being detected.

The eggs for human consumption produced by the infected poultry flock are picked up on a regular basis by a business located in a neighbouring district where the veterinary authorities have been informed about the epidemiological factors. As far as can be determined, poultry or poultry meat have not been removed from the flock for export to other districts, Member States or non-EU countries.

Searches have been conducted in TRACES with a view to assessing the risk of having introduced infection from Germany to Denmark by means of direct imports of live poultry and day-old chicks. Imports and exports within the past two months from 23 May 2015 have been studied. No poultry or poultry meat has been imported from the rural district concerned in Germany to Denmark during the period.

There have been five exports of day-old chicks from Denmark to the rural district of Emsland, Germany, during the period.

Previous outbreaks in EU Member States within the past two months United Kingdom

The British veterinary authorities informed the European Commission on 13 July 2015, and on 14 July via an ADNS announcement, that an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N7 had been discovered in a commercial poultry flock of 170,000 layers, situated at Preston, Lancashire, UK. This is a mixed poultry flock comprising 50,000 free-range and 120,000 caged hens, 67 weeks old. A total of 36,000 hens in the flock have died as result of the illness, equating to a mortality rate of around 20%. The mortality rate is highest among the free-range hens.

The control measures, pursuant to the AI Directive (2005/94) were initiated, including the creation of a 3-km protection zone and a 10-km monitoring zone. The killing of the poultry began on 10 July based on suspicion of avian influenza. Epidemiological analyses are now under way to find the cause of the infection.

Searches have been conducted in TRACES with a view to assessing the risk of having imported the infection from the UK to Denmark by means of direct imports of live poultry, day-old chicks and brood eggs. Imports and exports within the past two months from 13 May 2015 have been studied.

During the period, there has been one export of live poultry from the UK to Denmark. The import did not come from Lancashire.

During the period, there has been one export from Denmark to the UK. The export was not sent to Lancashire.

References: Fax from the European Commission – 032/2015 ADNS announcement of 14 July 2015.

Germany

On 11 July 2015, Germany’s veterinary authorities sent an announcement to the European Commission and via an ADNS and OIE that a highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N7 had broken out in a poultry flock of 36,100 layer hens in Herzlake Municipality, in the rural district of Emsland, Lower Saxony.

On 8 June, a decline in egg-laying was discovered, after which samples were taken to be analysed for avian influenza. The results of the sample analysis were deemed positive for HPAI H7N7 on 11 July.

The control measures, pursuant to the AI Directive (2005/94) were initiated, including the creation of a 1-km protection zone. Three other commercial poultry flocks (mainly layers), totalling 24,000 birds, are found within the protection zone. A clinical review of and sample-taking among the three flocks are being conducted. The poultry within the zone must be kept indoors.

The epidemiological analysis is under way. No additional other poultry have been introduced into since 21 October 2014, when poultry were last released. Possible contacts with veterinarians are being investigated. No poultry or poultry meat has been taken from the flock and exported to other districts, Member States or non-EU countries. At present, a delivery of eggs is believed to have been made to another business in Germany.

The source of the infection is unknown at present, but the flock owner has observed the frequent presence of wild birds in the poultry flock’s outdoor areas. Searches have been conducted in TRACES with a view to assessing the risk of having imported the infection from Germany to Denmark by means of direct imports of live poultry and day-old chicks. Imports within the past two months from 11 April 2015 have been studied.

During the period, there were 71 exports from Germany to Denmark. The imports did not come from the rural district Emsland.

During the period, there were 448 exports from Denmark to Germany. None of these went to the rural district of Emsland.

References: Fax from the European Commission – 031/2015, ADNS announcement of 11 June 2015, OIE announcement of 11 June 2015.

Danish Veterinary and Food Administration

 
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