Faced with ‘devastating’ bird flu, government bets on vaccinating poultry by autumn 2023 – Liberation

In France, from August 1 to December 21, 3.3 million animals have already been slaughtered, half of which are ducks, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Changing the method. Faced with a catastrophic bird flu epidemic that has killed tens of millions of birds across the continent, like the rest of Europe, the government on Thursday set a target for the first vaccination of poultry by autumn 2023. In France, from August 1 to December 21, 3.3 million animals have already been slaughtered, half of which are ducks. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, two million people were killed in December alone.

“My goal is to be able to spend the 2023-2024 season with a vaccine, a vaccine strategy” The Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, confirmed during a visit to representatives of the agricultural sector in La Roche-sur-Yon (Vendée). Until then, we must work “protection of the sector’s genetic heritage” and provides this compensation “Go fast enough to not dilute cash flow so much that people are forced to shut down” the minister insisted.

“Considering the Challenges”

At this stage, there are no sufficiently effective vaccines with marketing authorization and there are even fewer European regulations allowing vaccination. According to the schedule presented on Thursday, the first results of laboratory experiments should be known in March 2023. At the same time, the National Agency for Health Security (ANSES) will be required to provide various information. “Eligible Vaccination Scenarios”. After that, the French state will try to define a vaccination strategy, calculate the cost and determine who will pay. “If all the signals are green, we will have functional, licensed vaccines and an appropriate health and economic strategy in May” summarizes the ministry.

“We have a minister who has reassured us a little because we see the schedule […] programmed with realistic consideration of the difficulties that may be on the way”, Brice Guyau, president of the FDSEA in Vendée, reacted. “It’s very important that as many animals as possible are vaccinated before the fall so that we don’t have a mass spread virus in our area.” for his part, insisted Pascal Sachot, spokesman for the Confederation of Vendée paysanne.

Bird flu is epizootic “more destructive” European health authorities estimated on Tuesday that more than 50 million birds were slaughtered between October 2021 and September 2022 on infected farms alone in all of Europe’s known history. endemic to the continent. The acceleration of the spread of the virus is not only due to the drop in temperature, but also to the air temperature “High migratory activity of wild birds”, refers to the ministry.

The Vaccine Race

But France cannot act alone and its plan depends on approval at the European and international level. European regulations allowing the principle of vaccination “It should come into force at the end of February” according to the government, just one year ago “professionals and stakeholders were directly against it.”

However, there remains a risk that some importing countries will refuse to buy poultry or products from vaccinated birds for fear of vaccination. “mask” the presence of the disease and the subsequent spread of the virus among them “low noise”. Therefore, France will have to negotiate bilaterally with its trading partners to agree to the import of vaccinated chickens. The suspension of French poultry exports means a loss of 500 million euros for the sector.

According to ANSES, there are currently five vaccines available worldwide and only one has marketing authorization for chickens in Europe. But since 2006 “and the vaccine strain […] it has not been updated since then. Five European countries have started the race for the vaccine, and most of the trial results should be known in the first quarter of 2023. Two French laboratories, including Ceva, are working on a vaccine for waterfowl (ducks), while the Netherlands is working on a vaccine for chickens and Italy for turkeys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *