- Title: Bird flu found in wild ducks in northern France, farm ministry says
- Date: 28th November 2016
- Summary: SAINT ANTOINE D'AUBEROCHE, FRANCE (FILE - APRIL 2, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DUCKS ON FARM SAINT AQUILIN, FRANCE (FILE - APRIL 2, 2012) (REUTERS) TRACTOR VARIOUS OF THREE WEEK-OLD GEESE ON FARM
- Embargoed: 13th December 2016 16:32
- Keywords: health bird flu H5N8 livestock ducks poultry France
- Location: PARIS, SAINT ANTOINE D'AUBEROCHE AND SAINT AQUILIN, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, SAINT ANTOINE D'AUBEROCHE AND SAINT AQUILIN, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA0025AD0ITJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A severe strain of H5N8 bird flu that has hit several countries in Europe leading to the culling of thousands of poultry was detected in 20 wild ducks in northern France over the week-end, the farm ministry said on Monday (November 28).
"We found some ducks used as callers dead in a pond. We carried out tests, and we identified the virus H5N8, the bird flu virus which has been found in several European countries neighbouring France," French Agriculture Ministry official Loic Evain told Reuters Television.
Local authorities increased surveillance in the area, the ministry said.
France, which has the largest poultry flock in the EU, is still recovering from a severe bird flu epidemic in southwestern France earlier this year which lead to a total halting of duck and geese output in the region and import restrictions from trading partners.
The ministry stressed the latest outbreak did not affect domestic farms and that provided no new case was found it should regain its international status of free of highly pathogenic avian flu on December 3, although Evain said there was a risk this status would not be achieved.
"There is always a risk, we've seen it with our neighbours, for example in Germany, in the Netherlands, we've seen there have been cases of wild birds contaminating domestic poultry. It's a risk that we clearly cannot rule out, but that's why it's very important all the farmers' protection measures are taken to avoid the transfer of the virus from the wild to our livestock, and so maintain our status of being "unaffected", which we're supposed to get back on December 3," Evain said.
Outbreaks in neighbouring countries including the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany had prompted the ministry to impose additional precautions at farms and restricted hunting earlier this month.
Dutch authorities destroyed some 190,000 ducks on Saturday at six farms following an avian flu outbreak.
The H5N8 bird flu virus has never been found in humans.
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