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  • Exceptional avian influenza situation declared in the municipality of Chișinău, following the detection of an outbreak of avian influenza in swans on Lake Ghidighici.

Exceptional avian influenza situation declared in the municipality of Chișinău, following the detection of an outbreak of avian influenza in swans on Lake Ghidighici.

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An exceptional situation of avian influenza has been declared in the municipality of Chisinau, due to the detection by the National Agency for Food Safety of outbreaks of avian influenza, including on the territory of the municipality.

The decision in this regard was approved on Friday by the Commission for Exceptional Situations of the Municipality of Chisinau.

Igor Crudu, head of the Chisinau municipal directorate of the National Agency for Food Safety, said that outbreaks of H1N1 have been detected in the swan population living in winter on the banks of rivers and lakes in Moldova.

Currently, 4 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza are confirmed, including one outbreak in Chisinau municipality, Vatra town, Ghidighici lake.

This situation requires decisions and measures to be taken by the authorities in order to manage this emergency and minimise the risk of avian influenza entering poultry, non-professional and commercial poultry flocks.

Among the requirements imposed by the authorities during the period of the exceptional situation are:

Prohibition of access of birds from human households to ponds, lakes, rivers, etc., as well as increased measures to combat illegal street trade in food or live animals, which can also increase the risk of infection with infectious diseases, officially notifiable, with major impact.

During the exceptional avian period, exhibitions and fairs with the sale of live animals (birds, including decorative birds) are prohibited.

Thus, the Commission for Exceptional Situations of Chisinau municipality adopted a Plan of measures for the prevention of avian influenza on the administered territory, including:

informing local authorities about risk situations related to avian influenza, identifying bird migration corridors, carrying out massive veterinary surveillance of poultry flocks, establishing prophylactic quarantine and strict veterinary surveillance measures of poultry flocks; stopping the movement of birds and their products (eggs, meat) from non-professional farms, banning grazing of animals near water ponds. Prohibit the sale of poultry at livestock fairs; combat unauthorised street trade in live birds, poultry meat, eggs, prohibit keeping birds outside the yard; distribute information material (video/audio spots, posters, etc.); intensify control of biosecurity measures on commercial poultry farms, as required, etc.

In addition, a damage assessment committee will be set up in accordance with the legislation in the event of detection of outbreaks of domestic poultry in both the protection and surveillance zones.

All restrictions are to be lifted within 90 days from the date of identification of the last case of the disease.

Avian influenza is a highly contagious infection which, if left unchecked, can be transmitted from animals to humans, so the community and the authorities need to be cautious and responsive to the situation.