Avian Influenza Task Force Statement on Recent HPAI Outbreaks in Wild Birds

Bonn, 25 January 2022 - The multi-stakeholder Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds has issued a statement in response to recent large-scale outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds reported in the UK, The Netherlands, Israel, and India.

The task force statement aims to inform stakeholders in governments, the poultry sector, disease control, wildlife management, site management and conservation sectors about HPAI viruses in wild birds and appropriate responses to the current outbreaks. It also includes specific recommendations and a guide to existing guidance for those managing regionally and globally important sites for waterbirds and other wildlife.

“You can not control the spread of HPAI in wild birds through culling or habitat destruction. In fact, as the Avian Influenza and Wild Birds Task Force statement highlights - better protection of wetland habitats actually provides lower HPAI risk," says Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). "I therefore call upon all those with responsibilities for animal health in affected countries to follow the advice of FAO and OIE and to adhere to the international obligations under AEWA and other international treaties to ensure that there is no killing of wild birds or actions which could negatively affect wetland and other habitats as disease control measures,” says Trouvilliez.

AEWA is one of the founding members of the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenca and Wild Birds which is co-convened by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

The latest Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds Statement issued on 21 January 2022 can be accessed below.

Further Resources

 

About the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds:

The Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds is co-convened by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It works as a communication and coordination network that keeps under review the role of wild birds in the epidemiology of AI and the impact of the disease on wild birds, promoting a balanced opinion based on currently available evidence. It has been in existence since 2005. Task Force members include FAO, CMS, the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), BirdLife International, EcoHealth Alliance, International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), Ramsar Convention, Royal Veterinary College, Wetlands International, and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT).  Task Force observers include the United Nations Environment Programme, World Health Organizsation and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Last updated on 27 January 2022

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