OMSK, September 21. /TASS/. About 50 hotbeds of avian influenza have been recorded in Russia’s wildlife in 2023, which is the highest rate for the past eight years, Andrey Mukovnin, the deputy director of the Russian Agriculture Ministry’s Veterinary Department, has told TASS.
"In 2023, the situation involving highly pathogenic avian influenza in Russia is extraordinary. This is due to the spread of this disease in the wildlife. We have now registered about 50 hotbeds in 18 regions. This has not happened over the past eight years that I have been in office," Mukovnin said.
The Ministry of Agriculture has made a request to the agencies concerned in order to find out whether the high incidence of the disease had a human factor behind.
"We have already received a reply that the circulating strains of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus are typical for Russia. The suspicion has not been confirmed," Mukovnin said.
He said that thanks to preventive measures, the situation with bird flu in agricultural farms was under control. In particular, the Ministry of Agriculture has been conducting interdepartmental exercises to combat the disease. This enables all agencies involved to respond more quickly to outbreaks of the virus and prevent it from spreading. Regions of the Siberian and Urals federal districts took part in the exercise in the village of Ust-Zaostrovka, the Omsk Region on Thursday.
Avian influenza is an acute viral disease affecting farm, synanthropic and wild birds, with damage to the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. All birds in the affected areas are isolated and destroyed.