Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald: Outbreak of avian influenza in Alsace does not affect the district of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald – the veterinary department of the district office provides precautionary information about hygiene measures

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In Beblenheim, north of Colmar in Alsace, an outbreak of avian influenza, H5N8, has been detected on a poultry farm. This is the first case in the Haut-Rhin department since the virus appeared in France in November 2020.

In order to prevent any risk of spread, a 3 km protection zone and a 10 km surveillance zone have been set up around the outbreak farm, within which the movement of poultry is prohibited and strict hygiene measures must be observed. So far, this outbreak has not affected the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district.

The H5N8 virus is not transmitted to humans and is transmitted by migratory birds. The veterinary office therefore advises all poultry farmers that the required biosecurity measures must be carefully implemented to protect farm poultry. Failure to comply with biosecurity measures can lead to a reduction in compensation payments in the event of an epidemic. There is also an obligation to register all chicken holdings with the veterinary office from the first animal onwards. Hunters should also be vigilant about sick or fallen wild birds.

For poultry holdings in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district with more than 1,000 poultry, the livestock owner must ensure that:

1. Entrances and exits to the stables or other locations are secured against unauthorized access or driving,
2. the poultry houses or other locations of the poultry are only entered by external persons wearing their own protective clothing or disposable protective clothing and that these persons remove the protective and disposable protective clothing immediately after leaving the house or other location of the poultry,
3. Protective clothing is cleaned and disinfected at least once a week after use and disposable clothing is disposed of immediately after use,
4. after each poultry housing or removal, the equipment used for this purpose and the loading area are cleaned and disinfected and that the free stalls including the facilities and objects available there are cleaned and disinfected after each removal,
5. In deviation from Section 17 (1) sentences 1 and 2 of the Cattle Traffic Ordinance, the company’s own vehicles are cleaned and disinfected in a paved area immediately after the poultry transport has been completed,
6. Vehicles, machines and other equipment that is used in poultry farming and used in several stalls or shared by several companies are cleaned and disinfected before being used in a different stalls or in the delivering company,
7. the room, the container or the other facilities for the storage of the dead poultry is or will be cleaned and disinfected after each collection, but at least once a month,
8. An in-house facility for washing hands as well as facilities for changing and removing clothing and disinfecting shoes is provided.
9. Proper rodent control is carried out and records are kept of this.

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