The Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said on Monday hope that the end of the outbreak of bird flu in France, which led to the preventive slaughter of some four million poultry.
“Everything suggests that we will arrive shortly after that outbreak. The number of suspected cases is in decline, ” said Stephane Le Foll told a news conference in Paris. “It is envisaged the end of this terrible tunnel in which we are in four months” .
A total of 465 cases of bird flu were reported from farms in nine departments and four million poultry have been culled, mainly in the Southwest. “It really is an extremely painful episode” , commented Stéphane Le Foll.
The first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8, out wildlife, was confirmed on December 2nd in the Tarn, in Almayrac . The virus, particularly aggressive to poultry farms but not transmissible to humans, was subsequently propagated mainly in southwestern departments.
Stéphane Le Foll Monday insisted on compliance with biosecurity measures and called the foie gras industry to reorganize them to prevent outbreaks in the future. “We can not stop here, we can not pretend that the threat was not coming back every year” , he has said.
The first compensation paid
“Prevention is better, organize to prevent, rather than having steps as we were forced to implement this year and already last year” . The resumption of production is already possible for chickens in 536 municipalities.
For waterfowl, it will be from the end of May in the most affected areas if the situation continues to evolve favorably. Stéphane Le Foll said the government had initiated the payment of aid sought by breeders from the beginning of February, with advances to the slaughtering of poultry in households at 75% of the market value of the animals.
Compensation for preventive culling, which represent 2.3 million birds slaughtered on four million, started since the end of last week, he added. The first compensation of production losses for breeders will occur by the end of April.