A bird flu alert has been raised by France after severe cases of the virus were discovered in backyard chickens in the northeast part of the country. This was in addition to the cases in neighbouring Belgium and Luxembourg. The farm ministry stated Friday.
Ministry of Health stated in a statement that the highly contagious H5N8 strain avian influenza was discovered this week in ducks, turkeys, chickens and pigeons from a household in Ardennes. All animals were slaughtered as precaution.
“The situation is concerning in the health sector regarding highly pathogenic Avian Influenza. It said that 25 cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been reported in Europe since Aug. 1.
Last week, two cases of H5N8 in Belgium were reported – one at an individual bird merchant and one privately owned home. The French ministry also added that another case was reported at a Luxembourg home linked to the Belgian merchant.
France has increased its risk assessment for H5N8 bird flu to “moderate” and “negligible”. This would result in poultry being kept indoors in certain areas.
According to the ministry, the French outbreak would not affect the bird flu-free status that France had just regained after the previous H5N8 bird influenza epidemic, which was also confirmed by the ministry.
Importing countries can impose trade restrictions on poultry products due to bird flu epidemics, especially in Asia.
France killed 3 million birds in its southwest duck-breeding area last winter as it battled the spread of the virus to other poultry flocks.
Due to the massive outbreak, the government agreed to new biosecurity measures for the poultry sector.
These include a requirement that flocks be kept in a safe area during risk periods, and a commitment not to allow flocks to grow too densely in the southwest. This is the home of the country’s duck foie gras pate.
(Adapted from Latestly.com)