Bird flu fears halt poultry farming in southwest France

15 Jan, 16. France.

Poultry farmers in southwest France have been urged to halt production of geese and ducks as part of efforts to eradicate bird flu, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday.

The highly virulent H5N1 strain of the virus was identified at a farm in the southwest region of Dordogne – famed for its foie gras – in November, prompting a number of countries around the world to ban French poultry imports.

Since then, H5N1 has been detected on 69 farms in southwest France.

In a bid to eradicate the disease, the agriculture ministry issued a statement on Thursday urging farmers to not hatch any new chicks starting from January 18, when a massive sanitation operation is due to begin in the region. Farmers have also been instructed not to cull birds already in the process of being raised.Read More

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