“Introduction of HPAI via wild birds” Workshop, 1-2 March 2016

1 March 2016



EFSA is currently assessing the risk of introduction of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)via wild birds. This follows a request from the European Commission. Given the flyways of migratory birds, we know that infected wild birds may cross the north-east, east or south border of the EU.

Transfer of the virus to other migratory or residential wild birds or poultry will mainly depend on the density of poultry holdings and the wetlands. Six representative scenarios will be further explored in the risk assessment (see Table 1). A workshop will be organised to elicit expert opinions on variables of the risk pathway for which no data are available in the scientific literature.

Table 1: Six specific scenarios that will be further explored in the risk assessment, varying in the area of HPAI infected migratory wild bird entry into the EU and in densities of poultry and wetlands

Entry area of HPAI infected migratory wild birds

Density of poultry holdings and wetlands

High poultry and high wetland

High poultry – low wetland

Low poultry – high wetland


Northern Italy, Netherlands, North-western Germany

United Kingdom

Eastern Germany


Not considered

Not considered

Romania, Bulgaria


Northern Italy

Not considered

Southern France

Objectives of the event

An expert knowledge elicitation (Sheffield method) will be performed during the workshop to estimate the parameters of the risk pathway on HPAI introduction via wild birds. Information on wild bird populations (e.g. population size, species, and available habitats) and poultry production (e.g. production types, biosafety levels) is required, in particular in the regions or countries mentioned in Table 1.

This call for interest to participate in this workshop is open to experts who have sound experience in avian influenza, ornithology and/or poultry production. Around 15 participants will be selected from the submitted expressions of interest (see below) taking into consideration their expertise, country of residence and involvement in HPAI surveillance or research projects in wild birds and/or HPAI outbreaks. In particular the curriculum vitae and the explanation provided on involvement in HPAI surveillance or research projects in wild birds and/or HPAI outbreak investigation or management will be screened when selecting experts. Expertise on wild birds and poultry production, in particular in the regions or countries mentioned in Table 1, will be considered an asset. Knowledge on the size of local wild bird populations, wetland surface, initial virus concentration loads and initial number of infected wild birds is required to allow participation in the expert knowledge elicitation process on entry of HPAI via wild birds and its spread to residential and other migratory wild birds. A second group of experts with knowledge on the local production types, poultry species, poultry holding densities and their biosafety levels is required to elicit estimates of variables related to virus transfer from the wild bird reservoir and/or environment into a poultry holding within one of the regions mentioned in Table 1. The selection of participants will also seek to obtain a balance between persons with different expertise, types of affiliations and country of residence. Registration is closed.