Avoid spread. On Thursday, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA), a Belgian authority, said that an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) had been detected at a bird merchant for individuals located in Menen , a border town with France.
According to the prefecture of the North, which relays the information of its Belgian counterparts, the owner of the breeding concerned mainly sold his birds on the markets in Belgium, in the cities of Arlon, Chimay, Tournai, Bastogne, Charleroi and Anderlecht. Individuals who have purchased birds on these markets “between August 7 and August 30” are therefore asked to immediately consult a veterinarian if an animal shows symptoms. These can present in the form of respiratory problems, sinusitis, watery eyes, swollen head with cyanotic ridge and wattles, decreased egg production, depression, loss of appetite or death of the bird.
A surveillance perimeter including French cities
As livestock and some of the markets are located near the border, several French municipalities have been included in the 10km surveillance perimeter established to prevent the spread of the virus. These are the towns of Bousbecque, Halluin, Neuville en Ferrain, Roncq, Tourcoing and Wattrelos.
Within this perimeter, holders of birds and poultry must report to the authorities. Each clinical sign and each death must be declared to a veterinarian or to the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations (DDPP) in the North. The transport of birds is also now regulated. Within the perimeter, three farms were inspected. “No sign of avian influenza has been detected”, assures the prefecture of the North.