Czechia: Second outbreak HPAI

The State Veterinary Administration (SVA) announced this year's second outbreak of avian influenza in the Czech Republic on 17th of February 2020. The outbreak is located in the farm of Moras Moravany in the village of Slepotice in the Pardubice region. The affected farm has both turkey (7.500 heads) as well as approx 130.000 broiler chickens. Measures include a three-kilometer protection zone and a ten-kilometer surveillance zone.

zoom on a bird behind a fence

The breeder on Sunday reported increased mortality in the breeding of 7 500 turkeys, of which within three days (from Friday 14 February to Sunday 16 February) died 1.300 pieces. In addition, dying poultry showed symptoms suggesting that it could be a bird flu. Official veterinarians immediately took samples of dead poultry for laboratory testing on the spot and took measures to prevent the possible spread of dangerous outbreaks. An examination of the dead animals carried out at the State Veterinary Institute in Prague this morning confirmed that it is a highly pathogenic subtype of avian influenza H5N8. There are also some 130 000 broiler chickens on the farm.

“The entire premises of the company were closed immediately, a disinfection loop will be installed at the entrance to prevent the disease from spreading outside the premises. This evening or tomorrow morning, veterinarians will start spending all the poultry, which will then be safely disposed of in the sanitation plant, ” said Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman.

The remaining poultry on the holding will be killed and further measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease. “ As in the case of the first outbreak, located in Štěpánov nad Svratkou in the Vysočina Region, a three-kilometer protection zone and a ten-kilometer surveillance zone will be set out. They shall restrict the movement of poultry, farms shall be kept and other emergency veterinary measures taken. At the same time, the investigation is continuing, the main aim of which is to find out how the infection got into the breeding, ” said the central director of the State Veterinary Administration Zbyněk Semerád .

Due to the favorable disease situation around the outbreak in the Highlands and the thirty-day deadline since its announcement, today the announcement on the relevant official boards will end the extraordinary veterinary for closed zones around the outbreak in Stepanov nad Svratkou.

Bird flu is a dangerous viral infection of chickens, turkeys, water poultry, pigeons, feathered game, exotic birds and wild birds. Avian influenza viruses are commonly found in wild birds and are transmitted mainly through droppings. Therefore, infection is most often caused by ingestion of feed or water contaminated with faeces of infected birds. Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses cause high morbidity and mortality in birds. In poultry farming, they cause significant direct and indirect economic losses.

The basic precautionary measure is (if possible) breeding poultry in enclosed buildings and avoiding contact with wild birds. For holdings where it is not possible to place them in a closed building, measures must be taken to minimize the risk of contamination of water, feed and litter by the faeces of wild birds, for example to place water and feed under shelter, to prevent movement on bodies of water. Another possible measure is the networking of paddocks, etc. In case of suspicion of the occurrence of infection, which is an increased mortality of poultry, sudden decrease of laying or feed intake to report to the Regional Veterinary Administration.

Breeders are legally guaranteed compensation for euthanized animals and the MoA also reimburses them for all purposefully spent costs resulting from measures ordered on the spot. Applications for refunds must be made within 6 weeks of sacrifice. All information is available on the website of the Ministry , where there are contacts to relevant workers who will help farmers if necessary.

More information on avian influenza can also be found on the JRC website .

Vojtěch Bílý

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture

Petr Majer
Deputy Spokesperson of the State Veterinary Administration

Source: State Veterinary Service of the Czech Republic

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