– I don’t rule out – depending on how the problem evolves – that we may need to contribute additional funds, says Rural Affairs Minister Jenny Nelson (S) to TT.
“This is extraordinary.”
In total, just over 2.4 million birds have been killed in Sweden since last fall, when the first outbreak of bird flu hit a turkey farm in Skåne.
Since then, many crews have been infected – in Skåne and in other provinces. Among other things, Sweden’s largest egg producer in Münsteräs in Kalmar county has been hit hard by the infection, which previously led to a halt in production.
The infection is proving to be more severe and deadly than before. It is an airborne virus that can spread from wild birds through ventilation, and infection can be transmitted, for example, between farms by connecting birds, vehicles, tools, feed, dust, and feathers. In addition to Sweden, many countries in Europe have been hit hard.
Hakan Henriksson, chief veterinarian of the Swedish Board of Agriculture, describes the situation as “exceptional”.
We have not seen a large-scale outbreak like it did during the 2020-2021 season. We hadn’t seen that before, he told TT
The bill is ticking
The affected herds, which can claim compensation from the state, among other things, forcing them to kill animals, now amount to 24. Håkan Henrikson says that for the state, all work with bird flu now means a cost of at least 460 million SEK.
– But I think that may not be the last remark.
The cost includes veterinary work and the actual efforts of the Swedish Armed Forces, among others, regarding the outbreak, as well as compensation for animal owners.
– The value of the animal, the work of treatment and all that is compensated 100 percent – and we can review that very well. But then there will be a 50 percent production loss compensation, and it will be marked until it is fully operational again.
Hence the original annual subsidy of $ 133 million, which the Swedish Board of Agriculture previously received for working with infectious animal diseases, is no longer sufficient.
More money is added
Now, regarding the Spring 2021 amendment budget, the government has agreed with cooperating parties to push for additional funds to work with infectious animal diseases. 200 million Swedish kronor goes to work with diseases such as bird flu, in addition to an additional 60 million Swedish krona for the manufacture of mink, which is forced to take a break due to the epidemic.
When the infection recedes in birds it is difficult to predict.
Then, of course, it is important to ensure that we have good tools to work with – both from the authorities but also that the industry receives compensation for the need to slaughter a lot of birds.
Trinidad and Tobago: The Swedish Board of Agriculture forecasts the cost of bird flu to be over 400 million – and it doesn’t stop there. Is 200 million exactly at that time?
We’ll see that, of course, as Jenny Nelson says.
We counted 200 million on the request made by the Swedish Council of Agriculture to work with us on the Spring Change Budget for the time being.
Anna Carolina Erickson / TT
Wild birds (mainly ducks) are the natural reservoir for H5N1 and H5N8 influenza viruses.
In wild birds around the world, a large variety of influenza A viruses are circulating without causing major disease in birds. Outbreaks caused by influenza viruses in wild birds mainly occur in poultry.
Other animal species can also be infected with certain types of influenza A viruses from birds – either directly, through poultry – or by other animal species.
It is not uncommon for people to become infected. In some cases, the virus can also adapt by mutation as other species continue to spread. For example, pigs, horses, and humans have developed their own strains of influenza viruses.
Source: Swedish Public Health Agency