The Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed the discovery of the H5N1 avian flu in several wild birds
The Ministry of Agriculture in Spain has confirmed the detection of the highly contagious avian influenza virus (HPAI) H5N1 in several wild birds. Rural officers of the Generalitat of Catalonia found these dead birds in the Segre river, where it passes through Soses, in Lleida.
Sources from the ministry indicated that finding these wild birds “should not imply commercial restrictions to the movement of live birds, or their products, maintaining the status of Spain being officially free of notifiable avian influenza”.
According to the Ministry, the officers found four swans, and a stork, dead in the river. They were operating within the framework of the National Avian Influenza Surveillance Program in Spain. Due to the recent evolution of the epidemiological situation of the disease in northern and central Europe, it is being constantly monitored in Spain.
Swab samples from the deceased birds were reportedly obtained, and sent for analysis to the IRTA-CReSA laboratory. Positive PCR results were returned, for the H5 subtype of the virus. These results were subsequently confirmed at the Central Veterinary Laboratory (LCV) of Algete, in Madrid, determining that it is a strain of IAAP H5N1.
As a result, the rural officers of the Generalitat of Catalonia, and the Environment of the Government of Aragon, have proceeded to immediately intensify the passive surveillance of wild birds in the surrounding area. They are operating within a 10km radius of the spot the birds were found in, prioritising the first three kilometres.
The Ministry assures that there are no commercial poultry farms in these first kilometres. Farms located within the 10km radius are already being reviewed in order to check their biosecurity measures. Those responsible for birds will be informed of the risk of the importance of avoiding contact with wild birds.
They will also be asked to immediately report any suspicion they might have of disease, and to check the clinical condition of their animals, in order to detect any suspicion of infection, as reported by larazon.es.