Culling more effective than vaccinating

August 8, 2011

In economic and epidemiological terms, the practice of culling on farms within a radius of 1 to 3 km of infected farms is the best method of combating Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Vaccinating chickens within a radius of 3 km of an infected farm may at first appear to be cheaper, but it is less effective because the epidemic spreads further and lasts longer. This was one of the findings of a study performed by LEI together with the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI), both part of Wageningen UR.

Matters researched included the consequences of preventative culling and of vaccination programs within a radius of 1, 3 and 10 km of a farm infected with Highly Pathogenic Avian , also known as . The results of this research are described in the report ‘Control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza’. This report demonstrates that an epidemic is shorter in duration when preventative culling takes place, but that this results in culling taking place on more farms than in the case of vaccinations. Emergency vaccinations are less effective in shortening the duration of the epidemic, although they do reduce the number of infected farms. The EU strategy of only implementing culling on infected farms is not effective enough in helping to control an outbreak in a densely-populated poultry-rearing area.

Strategies in the event of an HPAI epidemic

In the report, the researchers describe the various strategies available to the government in the event of an outbreak of HPAI. The report was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation to provide a basis for decisions made in the event of a new HPAI . In this regard, account must be taken of the fact that large-scale preventative is increasingly less acceptable to society, according to the researchers. Society tends to call for alternative control measures such as vaccination.

Explore further: Japanese scientists track bird flu strains

More information: www.lei.dlo.nl/publicaties/PDF/2011/2011-032.pdf

Related Stories

Japanese scientists track bird flu strains

July 11, 2005

The Japanese government will destroy 8,500 chickens at a poultry farm in Bando, Ibaraki prefecture, after scientists found genes of the avian flu virus.

Avian culling doesn't stop bird flu

March 27, 2006

At least 29 nations have reported initial cases of avian influenza during the past seven weeks, reflecting the ineffectiveness of bird culling.

New study tracks the spread of bird flu between farms

April 4, 2007

A new way of understanding how highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) spreads among farm birds is published today in PLoS ONE. The study could help analyse the success of different control measures in the event of future ...

Bird flu spread through India

January 17, 2008

Avian influenza among poultry in India spread to new districts as animal control officials struggled to contain the outbreak.

Bird flu outbreak hits Dutch chicken farm

June 24, 2011

Dutch authorities were slaughtering thousands of chickens at a poultry farm in central Netherlands after an outbreak of a bird flu variety there, an agriculture ministry spokesman said.

Recommended for you

Researchers discover a drug for a tropical disease

August 30, 2016

Researchers at the University of Georgia are working to find the fastest way possible to treat and cure human African trypanosomiasis, long referred to as sleeping sickness. By working to improve chemical entities already ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.