An OIE report, based on information supplied by Dr Andrii Zhuk, of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection confirmed that a highly pathogenic H5 strain of the disease was found in the Vinnitsa region of the country on 18 January.
Ukrainian authorities have moved quickly to implement measures to stamp out the disease and prevent further spreading. These measures include movement control inside the country, surveillance outside and inside the containment and/or protection zone and official destruction of animal products. The OIE states that 98,000 birds in the area are susceptible to the disease, with 4,856 already having perished.
Poultry processor MHP moved quickly to reassure its customers that the incident did not affect its business. In a statement, it said: “We take all necessary measures to prevent potential outbreaks at Vinnytsia Poultry Complex located in Vinnytsia region. With regard to the outbreak in Buhakiv village, Vinnytsia region, we closely monitor the decisions of the meeting of the State Extraordinary Anti-Epizootic Commission at Nemyriv District State Administration which will approve the plan for disease elimination, define the anti-epizootic area, protection and monitoring zones.
“It is important to mention that MHP being a leading Ukrainian poultry producer employs one of the most up-to-date quality and biological safety control systems engaging more than two thousand daily control parameters of the entire production chain and finished products.
“We also emphasize that at all MHP Group poultry complexes, health and living conditions of birds are constantly checked by State Veterinarian Service and Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection.
“Avian influenza outbreaks currently do not threaten MHP’s enterprises.”
In December 2019, a low pathogenic strain of the disease was confirmed in the UK, leading to the cull of 27,000 birds.