France detects highly pathogenic avian influenza on a poultry farm in the north – Farm Ministry | World news


PARIS (Reuters) – France has detected a highly pathogenic avian flu virus on a poultry farm in the north of the country, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday.

Authorities, who said they had not yet identified the strain, must slaughter the chickens and disinfect the farm to prevent the spread of the disease, the ministry said in a statement.

The outbreak followed several outbreaks among poultry farms in Europe and Asia in recent weeks, a sign that the virus is spreading rapidly again.

Several cases of severe avian flu had already been detected in France last month in backyard poultry as well as a wild bird, prompting the government to impose that poultry flocks be kept indoors.

A massive wave of the virus last winter led authorities to slaughter more than 3 million ducks in its southwestern duck-breeding region known for the production of foie gras pâté.

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Epidemics can prompt importing countries, especially in Asia, to impose trade restrictions on poultry products.

They also worry epidemiologists because the virus can be transmitted to humans, especially as the world is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Avian flu, or avian influenza, is often spread by migrating wild birds.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; editing by John Irish)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.


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