On Wednesday 30 November the Member States supported a Commission proposal that consolidates the protective measures in relation to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of subtype H5N8 in several Member States.
Commenting on the measures, Commissioner Andriukaitis said: "The Commission has reacted promptly to this situation, and though the virus is still predominantly a bird virus without any specific increased affinity for humans, I call on Member States authorities, and the poultry sector, for extreme vigilance over this virus, and in particular the stepping up of biosecurity on poultry farms."
The virus, introduced in wild migratory birds which can carry it during their seasonal movements, has caused, at present, a total of 56 outbreaks of HPAI in poultry farms in Hungary, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands affecting a variety of poultry species (ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens) mainly in backyard farms.
Additionally the virus was found in wild birds in 10 Member States (Hungary, Poland, Germany, Croatia, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Romania), as well as in Switzerland. So far all affected countries have taken the necessary measures to prevent further spread.