An improvement in the poultry sales has been noted in Europe, following the reduction in number of bird flu cases over the past few weeks. The shift of the media coverage to other important sections has in a large way contributed to alleviation of consumer fears about bird flu.
Although poultry sales in some regions still present a pathetic picture, the overall situation seems promising. The migration of wildfowl from Africa during spring could possibly introduce fresh bird infections in Europe, warn researchers.
Farmers have been urged by the European Commission to cut back production to shore up weak sales. They are yet to receive any financial compensation. The poultry sector had lost nearly 300 million euros a month, several weeks ago. New rules to compensate for the reduced sales and low prices are expected to be drawn by European Union governments, shortly.
A 7-10% reduction in the poultry sales has been recorded in France, which has the largest poultry industry in EU, worth about 6 billion euro or $7.18 billion,approximately. 'We've seen a continuation of the improving trend that's been going on for two weeks,' said Veronique Legoff, spokeswoman for the retail distribution association FCD.
France is the only member of the European Union to record presence of the deadly H5N1 virus in a farmed animal, while other European countries have documented the disease in wild birds.
With a ban on poultry import imposed in France by over 50 different countries owing to bird flu threat, and a bird flu outbreak at a farm in Turkey, sales in France dropped down to nearly 30%, before few weeks.