Avian flu: vaccination, compensation… announcements expected and welcome but caution is still needed among farmers

the essential
It is heartwarming for farmers who have been affected by the epizootic crisis of 2022-2023. The Department of Agriculture has made several announcements. Satisfaction of some breeders, mistrust of others.

Certainly these announcements from the Ministry of Agriculture were eagerly awaited by farmers in the Gers. Both as regards compensation following slaughter and consecutive operational losses, and for the subsequent vaccination campaign. Benjamin Constant, who chairs the Gers Association for the Promotion of Foie Gras and Poultry Farming (AGPFGA), is satisfied but remains “vigilant”. “It took a while, but we’re there,” he said.

“In order to quickly ease the cash flow of farmers located in the regulated areas affected by the 2022-2023 crisis, an advance payment system will be opened by July 21st. This advance will be up to a maximum of 50% of the estimated losses,” explains the ministry.

For the rest of the compensation, it will be necessary to wait for the end of the calendar year to settle the accounts, and therefore hope for a definitive payment of the compensation at the end of the first quarter of 2024, indicates the services of the DDT (departmental directorate of the territories). “That’s a good thing, especially since we were heard about the compensation scale, which has been re-evaluated,” says Benjamin Constant.

Lionel Candelon, duck farmer in Castillon-Debats and founder of the collective Les Canards en Colère, is less enthusiastic. “There have been so many promises made in the last few years that I will believe Santa Claus when I see him,” he says. It has been two years since the farmer has marketed a single duck, his farm has been slaughtered 4 times in the past two years, he says.

“You have to realize the psychological state this can put farmers into. Some don’t even dare to go back to their farms. For this reason we also expect a lot from this future vaccination campaign, while remaining in the dark.


In its announcements, the ministry specifies that vaccination will be covered up to 85%. “However, the cost to date remains unknown as well as the vaccination process”, worries the French Poultry Confederation for its part. Sentiment shared by Benjamin Constant. “We would like to know what the process will be before talking about money. Which app? Which control? These are questions that remain unanswered and we will be very vigilant for the future”, promises the president of the AGPFGA.

In 2022, around 420 cases had been processed and compensated by the DDT. A figure that should be the same or even higher for 2023 given the wider area affected during the latest crisis.

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