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Animal Health Authorities Support Bird Flu Vaccines to Avoid Pandemic

Animal Health Authorities Support Bird Flu Vaccines to Avoid Pandemic


  • Bird flu kills hundreds of millions of birds and mammals
  • WOAH chief says vaccination of birds could help curb virus
  • Countries are reluctant to introduce bird vaccination
  • Vaccination should focus on free-range birds – WOAH chief

PARIS, May 21 (Reuters) – Governments should consider vaccinating poultry as avian flu kills hundreds of millions of birds worldwide and infects mammals, a World Animal Health Organization official said. The director said it was to prevent the virus from becoming a new pandemic. (great) I said.

The severity of the current bird flu epidemic, commonly referred to as bird flu, and the economic and personal toll it has caused, has led governments to take the following actions: Reconsider poultry vaccination. However, some countries such as the United States remain reluctant, mainly because of the trade restrictions involved.

WOAH Executive Director Monique Eloi told Reuters in an interview that “countries are coming out of the coronavirus crisis where they have realized that the pandemic hypothesis is real.”

“Now that almost every country with which we do international trade is infected, it is time to discuss vaccination, in addition to systematic culling, which remains the primary tool[to control the disease]. “Maybe it’s coming,” she said.

WOAH, based in Paris, will hold a five-day general meeting starting Sunday to focus on the global control of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

A WOAH survey found that only 25% of member states would accept imports of products from HPAI-vaccinated poultry.

The 27 member states of the European Union (EU) agreed last year to implement an avian influenza vaccine strategy.

Francewill spend around €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in 2021/22 on compensating the poultry industry for culling, making it the first EU country to launch a vaccination program starting with ducks.

Marc Fesnot, France’s Minister of Agriculture, said: “It is our responsibility to take advantage of other measures currently available, such as vaccination. And this is not only for animal health, public health, but also for social reasons. It is also to respond to challenges,” he said at the start of the WOAH General Assembly. .

Eloit said the EU move towards vaccination could be followed by other countries.

“If member states like the EU, which is a large exporter, start moving in that direction, it will have a ricochet impact,” Eroit said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) told Reuters on Friday, “In the light of our commitment to fighting HPAI, the USDA continues to research vaccine options that could protect poultry from this persistent threat. ‘ said.

However, in an email response, he said he still believes biosecurity measures are the most effective tool for mitigating the virus in commercial herds.

Although the risk to humans from avian influenza remains low, countries should prepare for a changing situation. world health organization Said.

Eloit said vaccination should focus on free-range poultry, mainly ducks, because bird flu is transmitted by infected migratory birds. She says it doesn’t make much sense to vaccinate broilers, which make up about 60% of the world’s poultry production.

The H5N1 strain prevalent in the current HPAI outbreak has been detected in more mammals, killing thousands of mammals including sea lions, foxes, otters and cats.

(1 dollar = 0.9084 euro)

Reported by Sybille de la Hameide.Editing: Hugh Lawson

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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