'Since the avian influenza crisis began, we have had to slaughter more than two million ducks and poultry to limit the spread,' said Julien Denormandie while questioning the government in the National Assembly.
According to the latest report from the ministry, France had 409 outbreaks of avian influenza (commonly known as avian flu) on Jan. 25, the vast majority of which were in the southwest (386).
A first case was confirmed on a duck farm in the Landes in early December. Since then, the identified outbreaks have continued to swell. In the Landes, the leading division for the production of foie gras, there are 312 so far.
What help for breeders?
'Our support for breeders will be unreserved, and I want it as soon as possible,' said Denormandie, promising to 'make quick payments to breeders for whom we had to do these depopulations'. 'Then we will see compensation for operating losses,' he added.
The foie gras sector, represented by the interprofessional organization Cifog, demands that the compensation paid by the authorities 'take into account the losses related to non-production due to the establishment of longer crawl spaces in the farms and the losses of hatcheries and the economic consequences for private processing companies of raw materials after the closure of farms '.
At the same time, Cifog has repeatedly called for human resources to be strengthened in order to speed up slaughter. According to its director Marie-Pierre PÃ©, it was sometimes necessary 'to wait up to ten days' for teams to intervene in infected farms. 'They collect the dead every day,' she complained, estimating that it was necessary 'to study the means to kill sick animals more quickly'.