Russia has dealt with dozens outbreaks of HPAI H5N8 since last spring, with the most recent reported from Moscow Oblast a week ago (see Russia Notifies OIE Of A New H5N8 Outbreak In Moscow Oblast).
Authorities have also been tracing the entry of AI contaminated products into the retail food chain (see July 27th's Rosselkhoznadzor Finds More HPAI Contaminated Meat In Retail Stores) since May.
Add in the rapid spread of H7N9 in China to their south - reported in June to be within 100 km of the Russian border - and it is little wonder that the Russian media tends to jump all over any `bird flu' related stories.Overnight at least a half dozen Russian language media reports were published describing a `suspected' bird flu outbreak at a large commercial broiler facility in Amur Oblast, very near the Chinese border. A few (translated) headlines read:
Because of suspicion of avian influenza "Amur Broiler" scored a million birds
"Amur Broiler" destroyed 1 million birds because of the suspicion of avian influenza
On the "Amur Broiler" because of the suspicion of avian influenza scored about a million chickens
What makes this story unusual is that test results have not confirmed H5 or H7 avian flu, and while 1 million chicks have reportedly been destroyed, it isn't clear what subtype - if any - was involved.
Some of these reports reference a suspected `H9' outbreak (presumably H9N2), but apparently that isn't confirmed either.Typical of these reports is this from Agroinvestor.ru
The presence of the disease has not been confirmed
(Continue . . . )Ekaterina Dyatlovskaya
Agroinvestor, August 2017"Amur broiler", only in the Amur region poultry for meat production with a full cycle, destroyed millions of birds 1 because of suspected avian influenza. As the press service of the regional government, the enterprise shall be scheduled quarterly samples for bird health, one of them the conclusion was received on August 11, which spoke of suspicion on certain poultry diseases.
"I have to say that the suspicion of avian influenza type H5 and H7 was not. And these are the main types of avian influenza, which affect on human health, "- said the deputy chairman of the government of the region Vladislav Bakumenko.
After analysis of the samples were suspected Flu H9, which is not dangerous to humans, but affects the health of the birds. preventive measures have been taken at the factory, a large part of poultry has been destroyed. In total, taking into account the chicks and poultry, ready to hit on the counter, was disposed of about 1 million head. As a result, according to the regional government in the coming months, consumers can not find in stores chilled chicken from the "Amur Broiler".
By results of the first tests were re-sent to study samples from birds. "They do not detect the virus H5, H7 and H9. Therefore, I can say that the company has passed the trouble, it will not be closed for long. Now there will be activities for cleaning, disinfection, and roughly 16 September factory will work in normal mode ", - said Bakumenko.
The gist of this, and similar reports, is that after culling a million birds, all of the avian flu tests have come back negative. Early tests suggested H9N2, but subsequent tests apparently did not provide confirmation.
Despite these negative findings, the factory will spend the next month cleaning and disinfecting their premises.A visit to Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance website sheds no light on this story, although we may get a small clue from a different media report which describes some of the extraordinary biosecurity measures utilized by this facility due to its close proximity to China.
In the factory, due to suspicion of bird flu killed about a million chicks
Amur region, August 16, the news agency "Port Amur". At six weeks the residents of the Amur region will remain chilled chicken. Because of the suspicion of avian influenza on the H9 "Amur Broiler" killed about a million chicks. On Monday, the company stopped supplying products to the stores, Khabarovsk Krai and Primorye. At the poultry farm left 150 tons of chicken, which will be implemented in two weeks. Most of the remains in the Amur region. And after the "freezing" of the "Amur Broiler" temporarily disappear from the shelves.
Due to the proximity to China Amur enterprise is in a special risk. In the factory, even has its own corporate law: workers advance warning guide on trips to China, and on his return three days in the so-called quarantine - do not go to work. Also, all employees "Amur Broiler" forbidden to keep any bird houses - the same canaries or parrots.
(Continue . . . )
While none of this tells us exactly actually caused this poultry facility to take such drastic measures, it does tell us a bit about how worried the Russians are that H7N9 - or H5N6 - might follow H5N8 out of China and into Russia.
For more on their preparations, you may wish to revisit China's Nervous Neighbors.