The European Union is debating whether to allow poultry to be vaccinated with bird flu continuing to spread. Germany has stepped up measures to combat the outbreak following confirmation that the number of cases among wild birds has leapt to more than a hundred. So far only the Baltic island of Ruegen has been affected but authorities fear the virus will soon hit the mainland.
Meanwhile, tests on three dead swans found in Hungary showed they had the lethal H5N1 strain, while Croatia has also confirmed the virus in a dead swan found on an island in the Adriatic. In France, Europe’s biggest poultry producer, farmers are confident the market will not drop dramatically as a result of the first case of avian flu discovered in a dead wild duck. “It’s not a disaster as people are well informed that they can eat poultry as long as it’s well coooked. I think people will react properly,” one Paris market trader said.
But French poultry farmers have already seen a significant fall in export sales. At least 15 nations across the world have reported outbreaks in birds this month alone, putting further pressure on the EU to come up with measures that can be implemented across the bloc.