Wageningen World: Should we vaccinate against bird flu?

Published on
April 5, 2022

Never before have there been so many outbreaks of bird flu in Europe. With hundreds of farms affected and millions of birds culled, the question arises: why don't we vaccinate poultry?

Between September and December 2021 there were over 300 outbreaks of bird flu on poultry farms in 27 European countries. Vaccinating poultry would be a logical solu­tion, especially given these alarming numbers. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. One important question is whether modern vaccines against the current, highly pathogenic variant are effective enough. International trade forms another problem, mainly because countries only want healthy animals to cross their borders and infected birds are hard to distinguish from vaccinated birds. This limits market interest in vaccinated birds.

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