High levels of surveillance and vigilance must be maintained by the egg industry in the face of ongoing outbreaks.
The International Egg Commission’s Avian Influenza Global Expert Group says that while the recent number of AI outbreaks in egg laying hens has not been historically high, it considers there is no reason for producers to let their guard down.
Established in 2015, the Group’s key priority is to create a culture of improving on-farm biosecurity, providing the global egg industry with a range of tools to use on-farm that support and help implement high levels OIE policy.
The Group says the most effective form of surveillance is for the wild bird populations in nations to be monitored. “This is usually the duty of the veterinary authorities and the IEC Avian Influenza Global Expert Group is encouraging producers to discuss the need for wild population surveillance with your national veterinary authorities. “By working together, we aim to receive early warning of Avian Influenza outbreaks in domestic poultry,” it added.
The call comes as animal health officials in Mexico have reported four more outbreaks of highly pathogenic H7N3 avian flu in poultry, according to a recent notification from the OIE. Two of the outbreaks occurred at farms in Queretaro state in central Mexico, one was in backyard birds in neighbouring Guanajuanto state and one involved backyard poultry in Veracruz state on the eastern seaboard.
The recent outbreak in Mexico started at the end of June and in all but one of the outbreaks, the virus was detected following deaths and clinical signs in birds. The other was detected as part of epidemiologic surveillance in healthy birds at a fattening farm.