|Published : 02 Dec 2016, 15:13:55|
France detects first H5N8 bird flu case on farm
France has detected a case of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu on a duck farm in the southwest, the first on-farm outbreak of the virus in the European Union's biggest poultry breeder, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.
The outbreak follows a case of H5N8 confirmed among wild ducks in northern France this week and is the latest of a series of outbreaks in Europe.
The virus killed 2,000 out of a flock of 5,000 ducks on a farm in the Tarn region, and the remaining birds are to be culled as part of preventative measures, the ministry said in a statement.
The new case means France will not be able to regain its international status as being free of highly pathogenic avian flu, a status it aimed to recover on Dec 3 if no further cases had been found following the wild bird outbreak.
France, which has the largest poultry flock in the EU, is recovering from a severe bird flu epidemic in the southwest earlier this year, which led to a halting of duck and geese output in the foie gras-producing region and import restrictions from trading partners.
International animal health standards should allow France to continue exporting after the new outbreak, the ministry said, referring to the practice of restricting exports from specific affected areas rather than the whole country, according to Reuters.