MIL-OSI Europe: Written question – Avian influenza outbreak in the Veneto provinces of Verona and Padua: Commission support for the at-risk poultry sector – E-005212/2021

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Source: European Parliament

Since mid-October 2021, cases of avian influenza H5N1 have been detected on 60 poultry farms across a number of municipalities in the province of Verona. Recently, the outbreak has spread to two farms in the province of Padua.

The virus, which is non-transmissible to humans, is highly pathogenic and extremely contagious, to the extent that all animals at affected farms have to be slaughtered. To contain the outbreak, the region has established a surveillance zone with a radius of 10 km, in accordance with Directive 2005/94/EC on Community measures for the control of avian influenza.

Estimates suggest that several hundred thousand animals, including chickens, hens and turkeys, will need to be slaughtered.

In Veneto, the poultry sector is an essential industry on which the livelihoods of many families depend.

The Veneto Breeders’ Association (AVA) says that the poultry farmers have taken all the necessary biosecurity measures.

This new outbreak of avian influenza will lead to several million euros in losses, crippling the poultry sector.

In view of this:

1. Will the Commission approve as soon as possible the allocation of funds to Italian poultry farmers whose farms have been hit by the avian influenza outbreak, to compensate them for lost income?

2. What other measures will it introduce to support producers and Italy’s poultry sector, and to contain the damage to the reputation of their produce?

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