By Tony Winterburn •
Published: 08 Dec 2020 • 20:28
FRANCE confirms Severe Bird Flu Outbreak On Duck A Farm As The First Outbreak of the Virus This Year.
France’s Ministry of Agriculture has announced an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu on a duck farm in the south-west, confirming France’s first farm outbreak of the virus this year. The new cases of bird flu were first reported on Monday, December 7, but at the time it was unclear exactly what strain of the virus it was.
Bird flu has reportedly been spreading rapidly across Europe, putting the poultry industry on high alert after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds.
“The ANSES national reference laboratory-confirmed (on Tuesday) the infection of a farm of 6,000 ducks by the H5N8 virus in the municipality of Benesse-Maremne (Landes region), in which high mortality was observed on 5 December,” the ministry said on Twitter. A security zone was set up around the farm on 7 December, implying extra monitoring, a ban on the movement of poultry and additional sanitary measures.
The Ministry of Agriculture has already detected the H5N8 virus on birds sold in three pet stores. Investigations later found that the wild birds had been sold by the same person in northern France.
Bird Flu in the UK
At least 30,000 turkeys had to be culled on December 6, leading to possible shortages over the Christmas period. A protection zone has been put in place around the Norfolk farm, imposing extra biosecurity measures and restricting the movement of poultry, eggs and meat within a 3km radius.
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