Avian flu in the Gers: the Lot-et-Garonne is caulked

Home Avian flu in the Gers: the Lot-et-Garonne is caulked
Written by Doug Hampton

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In an attempt to prevent the spread of avian flu, the number of outbreaks of which is exploding in the Gers, the professionals of Lot-et-Garonne have taken containment measures.

Avian flu, which had decimated poultry farms throughout France last year, has been back for several weeks. And in the Gers, the department first affected in 2023, the situation got out of control in a few days. At the last score, carried out by us with the Interprofessional Committee for Foie Gras Palmipeds (Cifog) on ​​Tuesday May 23, there were 71 outbreaks in the Gers, 18 in the Landes and three in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. They are mainly found in the south-west of Gers, and in the border areas of the two other departments concerned.

South of the Garonne, nothing happens in the Lot-et-Garonne

To stem the spread, or at least slow it down as much as possible, Lot-et-Garonne, which shares a border with Gers, is confined. “For the moment, the 47 is spared, indicates Marie-Pierre Pé. To keep it that way, we have isolated part of Lot-et-Garonne. All flows were blocked south of the A62 motorway. »

In addition to having blocked all movements between Gers and Lot-et-Garonne below the Garonne, “two Lot-et-Garonne municipalities, located on the border of the two departments, have been placed in an additional restricted area (ZRS) by the authorities: Saint-Pé-Saint-Simon and Sainte-Maure-de-Peyriac. There is increased vigilance regarding animal movements and mandatory tests, ”according to the Lot-et-Garonne Chamber of Agriculture.

“In the north of Lot-et-Garonne, professionals in the sector can work normally,” says Aurélie Mella, duck breeder in Saint-Sardoce and elected to the Chamber of Agriculture. We also have feeding rooms in the 47 which currently should be filled with animals and which are not because a large majority comes from the Gers and the Landes. They find themselves out of work and completely out of the compensation grids. In the coming months, there will also be the question of the supply of ducklings for farms which, like mine, are currently in a crawl space. »

The Lot-et-Garonne players in the sector are watching the evolution of the situation carefully, between concern and spite. “In the Gers, it starts like last year in Vendée, where it all started because of migratory birds. And the way things are going… Eight days ago, they took 200,000 ducks to slaughter. There, we must be at 900,000, explains Yves Boissière, from the Ferme de Souleilles in Frespech, which raises 3,000 ducks. It’s infuriating because we were back to normal in February of this year and we were out of confinement due to the previous episode in early May. We had also been able to get some ducklings. And it all starts again. And we do not yet know if the wildlife has been contaminated. »

“We are very keen on disinfection”

Some breeders have also implemented some health protocols to avoid contamination.

“We are very vigilant in terms of biosecurity, says Yves Boissière. We bring as few people as possible into the farm and we are very strict about disinfection. What will prevent contamination is the absence of movement. Last year, our contamination came from a pockmarked shipment. It’s a very good thing that trucks can no longer cross the Garonne. »

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