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Montevideo, May 26th 2024 - 02:47 UTC

 

 

Bird Flu in the Falklands: 23/24 season experience and planning for 24/25

Tuesday, May 7th 2024 - 10:26 UTC
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There is evidence to suggest that some birds have been exposed to HPAI over this season and have developed antibodies There is evidence to suggest that some birds have been exposed to HPAI over this season and have developed antibodies

On Thursday 2 May the Wildlife Disease Response Group, which includes representatives from Falkland Islands Government, Falklands Conservation, Falkland Islands Tourist Board, Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, UK Ministry of Defense and other relevant stakeholders, met to discuss the 23/24 summer season specifically about the HPAI situation in the Falklands and the response to it.

Likewise prospects for the coming 24/25 season that it is highly likely the impact of HPAI in the Falkland Islands will be worse.

Overall the group agreed that the response from late 2023 to now, had been appropriate and there had been positive collaboration and communication between the government, the public, stakeholders and land owners. In preparing for the next season it was agreed that there would be no significant changes to FIGs response to HPAI outbreaks, although some minor changes to legislation and actions for the 3 response levels may be made to make the response system more efficient and effective.

There is evidence to suggest that some birds have been exposed to HPAI over this season and have developed antibodies which hopefully might lead to a level of immunity in some populations.

The group acknowledged that a lot more research is needed to understand what the HPAI virus has done and will do within the Falklands context. Amandine Gamble has been undertaking research in this area and will be supported to continue this work.

It is important to note that it is highly likely that the impact of HPAI in the Falkland Islands will be worse in the 24/25 season.

However, work is ongoing at what can be done to reduce this as much as possible and will require the public to continue to maintain a high level of biosecurity awareness.

 

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