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Bird flu vaccine: For the head of duck producers in Tarn et Garonne, 'we could have vaccinated earlier'

Bird flu vaccine: For the head of duck producers in Tarn et Garonne, 'we could have vaccinated earlier'

Tristan Cordier, breeder of fat geese and ducks in Montclar de Quercy, and president of the Association of Poultry and Fat Bird Producers in Tarn-et-Garonne, evaluates the avian influenza vaccination in the department.

The Association of Tarn et Garonne Poultry and Palmfowl Producers (AVP 82), headed by Tristan Cordier, brings together about sixty breeders from 230 farms included in the department. The Montclar-de-Quercy-based center is evaluating the mandatory avian influenza vaccination launched this year for ducks.

Over the course of three months, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty launched a major campaign to vaccinate ducks. Where are the farms of Tarn and Garonne located?

We are in the middle of vaccination against highly pathogenic avian influenza. It is mandatory for farms containing more than 250 ducks whose products are intended for marketing.

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Is this your case?

Completely! All my ducks were born after 1any October 2023 affected. A veterinary consultant accompanies us and we inject a first dose followed by a booster dose. This entire campaign is closely monitored by state agencies.

Who covers the cost of vaccination?

The country has an envelope of 95 million euros to vaccinate 64 million ducks. This experiment will continue until next October, and we do not know whether it will be renewed in 2025.

do you want to be?

Yes, this vaccination is good and should have been done earlier. The teams of Jean-Luc Guerin, Professor of Avian Pathology at the National Veterinary School of Toulouse, have been ready for 6 years! But international health clearances took a long time. France is considered the first country in the world to be able to try this vaccination. Since we launched this initiative earlier, we have been able to avoid the last three waves of highly infectious avian influenza that have decimated many farms.

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However, Tarn and Garon remained slightly affected by this flu…

That's right, in the end we only have two or three outbreaks, the last one dating back to the spring of 2022. But we were indirectly affected: between May 2022 and March 2023, I was not able to receive a single duck because all the hatcheries were closed because of this. Health reasons. This represents a year of loss of activity.

Are you back to normal marketing today?

Sales went very well over the holidays, especially for foie gras, and a little less so for festive poultry. We feel very clearly that activity is picking up strongly with strong demand for carcasses. We are definitely riding the post-Covid lockdown wave. Customers trust us and prefer short circuit. The tradition of making ducks as a family began again with this desire to preserve the knowledge. I am optimistic about our sector.