Slaughter of 18 million poultry in Italy

18 million poultry slaughtered in Italy


The Italian agricultural confederation Confagricoltura on Monday asked banks for help to support farmers who have had to slaughter 18 million poultry since October to stem an epidemic of avian flu. 

To date, 308 outbreaks have been identified, mainly in large conventional farms in Lombardy and Veneto, in the north of the country. Few cases have been recorded among wild and ornamental birds.

Italian farms are the most affected in Europe: by way of comparison, 167 outbreaks have been recorded in farms in France, 111 in Hungary, 77 in Poland and 51 in Germany, according to the Veneto Institute of Experimental Zooprophylaxis.

The epizootic is however almost curbed in Italy, affirms this institute, which has recorded only ten new outbreaks throughout the territory since the beginning of the year, but the economic damage is substantial.

< p>Italian breeders have indeed slaughtered 18 million animals since the start of the epidemic in mid-October, mostly turkeys, but also laying hens.

“The economic situation and financial situation of many farms has become unsustainable. The poultry sector is going through an extremely critical period,” Confagricoltura boss Massimiliano Giansanti said in a statement.

He is asking banks to suspend maturing loans and reschedule credits in progress.

For its part, the government has indicated that it will seek European aid funds to compensate breeders “harmed by restrictions on the movement of animals and eggs” in recent months (production stoppages, closure of export markets, etc.)

Italian poultry farming has 18,000 farms, including 6,000 professional ones, and employs 38,000 people for a turnover of 4, 1 billion euros in 2021.

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