Avian flu resurfaces in US

The US has detected its first case of avian flu on a commercial poultry farm since April, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The virus was detected in n a flock of 47,300 turkeys in Jerauld County, South Dakota.

Infected flocks are culled to prevent the spread of the virus, potentially tightening the poultry meat and egg supply if more cases occur.

Since 2022, 58.8 million US chickens, turkeys and other birds have been wiped out by the disease, officially known as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), according to the USDA. The losses drove prices for turkey meat and eggs to record highs last year, raising costs for inflation-hit consumers.

The resurfacing of the virus in the US comes as some 60 million ducks are to be vaccinated in France over the next year as the country embarks on a campaign to combat the virus.

France’s first 80 million doses will come from German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, meaning the government will have to invite tenders for more supply.

In Europe’s only mass-vaccination campaign against avian flu, the two-jab course is obligatory for ducklings, from as young as 10 days old, on farms raising more than 250 birds.

The first shots were administered on a farm in the Landes region of southwestern France, observed by French Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau.