Biosecurity measures and the Avian Influenza vaccination campaign for winter 2023 appear to be bearing fruit. The health risk level was lowered to "moderate" on Sunday 17 March. This encouraging situation means that farmers can now decontaminate their animals and return them to the outdoor life they are used to in the South-West.

"Our farmers are relieved this March, because biosecurity and vaccination seem to have worked well. Maïsadour teams, vets and farmers have been working together throughout the winter to provide maximum protection for animals and safeguard farmers' incomes. The initial results are encouraging, although we remain vigilant. Now that the health risk has been reduced to a moderate level, the animals are back in the open air, which is the hallmark of farming in the South-West.

We now need to think about how to organise the next winter campaign, so that our farms are safer and procedures are less onerous for farmers."

Daniel Peyraube, farmer and Chairman of Maïsadour

A promising season for livestock farmers

The encouraging health situation over the last few months is a breath of fresh air for livestock farmers, who have experienced a succession of poultry crises over the last five years. Maïsadour salutes the close collaboration of all the professions involved (farmers, vets, technicians within the cooperative), not forgetting the government services and the various contacts in its sectors. They all pulled together to ensure the success of the avian influenza vaccination campaign. It’s also worth noting that farmers’ knowledge and practices in terms of biosecurity have been strengthened.

These combined measures have resulted in greater protection for animals and farms. As the health situation has been stable for several months, the risk level has been lowered to “moderate”.

A successful 2023 vaccination campaign and the need to consider the cost of future campaigns

The 2023 vaccination campaign represents a positive first step, but efforts must be continued to enable farmers to look to the future with confidence.

The Aignan hatchery is currently experimenting with a first dose of vaccine administered at the hatchery. This solution would simplify the current system: only one dose of vaccine would need to be administered on the farm (two doses would still need to be administered in at-risk areas). Initial trials, in collaboration with the DGAL, health vets and hatchery teams, have proved satisfactory.

The French government has undertaken to cover 85% of the cost of the vaccine for the first year (from October 2023 to September 2024), and has announced that it will gradually withdraw from this commitment over the next few years, without giving any details of how this will be achieved. Discussions will therefore have to take place in the coming months regarding the next vaccination campaign.

Maïsadour joins with other players in the palmiped and poultry industries in calling for the State’s commitment to funding vaccination campaigns to be made permanent. This would enable farmers to reduce vaccination costs and anticipate future protocols, which will require a major commitment from producers.


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