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European Law Monitor newsAvian Influenza: Highly pathogenic H5N1 virus confirmed in Bavaria

The European Commission was informed by the German authorities on Saturday of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on a duck farm in Bavaria, in a region where infected wild birds were detected in July and early August. Upon suspicion of the virus, the German authorities immediately applied the necessary control measures laid down under EU legislation, and the Commission will adopt a Decision later today to confirm the risk areas set up around the outbreak.

Avian influenza was suspected on the Bavarian farm when an abnormally high mortality rate was reported in a flock of almost 170 000 ducks. Diagnostic tests carried out by Germany´s national laboratory confirmed the virus to be the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain. The German authorities immediately began culling the ducks on the holding and applied the measures laid down in the Avian Influenza Directive 2005/94/EC. This entails the establishment of a protection zone of 3 km radius and a surveillance zone of 10 km around the infected holding.

The area covered by the protection zone and the surveillance zone is classified as a high risk area (area A) which is surrounded by a low risk area (area B) acting as a buffer zone to the disease free parts of the country. Strict movement controls are in place, poultry must be kept indoors, gatherings of poultry and other birds are banned, and on-farm bio security measures will be strengthened. The Commission will adopt a Decision today confirming the A and B areas set up in Germany and the disease situation will be reviewed by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health in early September.

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Reproduced with the permission of the European Commission REF IP/07/1256