Commission announces update on avian influenza

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The European Commission has updated its control measures on the prevention of the spread of avian influenza.

Since the rules first came into place in 2005, the commission has repeatedly updated them to reflect new developments and scientific advice.

The new implementing decision (2017/263) introduces new measures for dealing with highly pathogenic avian flu (HPAI) in ‘high risk’ areas. It comes along with a warning that strict controls for these high risk areas may be in place for some time.

The new implementing decision includes details on how high risk zones should be identified. In these areas poultry should be kept indoors and member states should avoid using water from reservoirs that can be accessed by wild birds. However, member states may be permitted derogations to the housing rule if poultry kept outdoors can be protected with nets or “other appropriate means”.

The commission clarified that although the decision was prepared to apply until the end of June 2018, the current situation is “constantly evolving” and therefore may be subject to review later this year.