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PARIS — The government should consider avian influenza vaccination in poultry. It has killed hundreds of millions of infected birds and mammals worldwide. to prevent the virus from becoming a new epidemic said the head of the World Animal Health Organization.
The severity of the current avian influenza outbreak Or commonly known as bird flu. as well as economic and personal damages have caused governments Poultry vaccination must be reconsidered. However, some, such as the United States, remain reluctant. The main reason is the trade restrictions that will follow.
“We are coming out of the COVID crisis. All countries are aware that the pandemic hypothesis is true,” World Organization for Animal Health director-general Monique Eloit told Reuters in an interview.
“Because now almost every country that trades internationally has found an infected person. Maybe it’s time to discuss vaccination. In addition to systematic sorting, which is still the main tool (in disease control),” she said.
The Paris-based organization is holding a five-day general meeting starting Sunday. And it will focus on controlling the global pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI.
The World Organization of Animal Health Survey shows that only 25% of member states accept imports of poultry products vaccinated against HPAI.
The 27 member states of the European Union agreed last year to implement an avian influenza vaccine strategy.
France, which spent about $1.10 billion in 2021/22 to compensate the poultry industry for mass slaughter. It is set to be the first country in the European Union to initiate a duck-based vaccination programme.
“It is our responsibility to use other tools. that exist today, such as vaccination and this for animal health for public health It is also about responding to social challenges,” France’s Agriculture Minister Marc Fesno said at the launch of the World Organization for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives. Animal Health General Meeting
Eloit said the EU’s move towards vaccination could lead others to follow suit.
“If a group like the EU which is a major exporter start moving in that direction There will be a ricochet effect,” said Eloitte.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture told Reuters on Friday that “In the interests of combating HPAI, the USDA continues to research vaccine options that could protect poultry from this ongoing threat.”
However, biosecurity measures are still considered the most effective tool for mitigating viruses in commercial swarms. specified in the email response.
The risk to humans from avian influenza remains low. but countries Be prepared for any changes. in status quo World Health Organization states
Eloit said vaccination should focus on free-range poultry. most of which are ducks Because avian influenza is transmitted by infected wild migratory birds. She said vaccinating broilers, which account for about 60% of global poultry production, is unreasonable.
The H5N1 strain that is prevalent in current HPAI outbreaks has been detected in an increasing number of mammals. and killed thousands of them including sea lions, foxes, otters and cats.