Mass death of birds from bird flu became the largest in the last 30 years – study

(ORDO NEWS) — Experts compared the impact of the latest animal virus epidemic to that of widespread use of toxic pesticides.

Since October 2021, more than 50,000 wild birds have died worldwide from the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza.

This is evidenced by the calculations of the World Organization for Animal Health, according to The Guardian.

Experts believe that the real numbers of bird losses from H5N1 can be dozens of times higher, and in the UK alone, hundreds of thousands of individuals.

According to the scientific director of the British Foundation for Ornithology, James Pierce-Higgins, the last time humanity faced the death of birds of this magnitude was in the 1950s and 1960s due to the widespread use of the toxic pesticide DDT, or in the 1970s and 1980s due to the intensification of agriculture. economy.

According to the report of the European Food Safety Authority, in 2021-2022, more than 3.5 thousand viruses were detected in wild birds in Europe.

Most cases of bird infections were registered in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK. Most often they occurred in coastal areas where seabirds were affected.

According to the UN, globally, most reports of H5N1 disease in wild birds in the past year came from Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.

In November 2022, the virus was detected in South America. Presumably, it was brought there by seagulls from the United States.

Experts say the picture will clear up in the coming years as it becomes clear how many migratory seabirds are returning to breed. This will help to understand the scale of the real damage to populations.

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