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8 Dec, 2020 10:42

France orders extermination of 6,000 ducks after major outbreak of bird flu

France orders extermination of 6,000 ducks after major outbreak of bird flu

An outbreak of H5N8 bird flu has been registered at a duck farm in the southwest of France, and the government has ordered all livestock to be culled to contain the virus, which has been spreading rapidly across Europe.

The outbreak was confirmed by France’s agriculture ministry on Tuesday. A duck farm, located in southwestern region of Landes, has already seen “high mortality” among its 6,000-strong bird population.

All the remaining birds at the contaminated farm have been ordered to be culled as a precaution, the ministry said. Although it’s the first livestock farm outbreak registered in the country this year, the H5N8 virus appears to be actively circulating among wildlife.

Last week, a wild goose and three swans were found dead in a number of locations across France, the ministry said, adding that quarantine measures have been established in the affected locations.

While the H5N8 virus is not transmittable to humans, it is highly contagious and deadly for birds. It has been actively spreading throughout Europe in recent weeks, with multiple farm outbreaks reported across several countries, including Belgium, Germany, and the UK.

Also on rt.com UK to cull 25,000 turkeys after NINTH bird flu outbreak this year

The bird flu wave has already heavily affected Europe’s poultry industry, with tens of thousands of chicken and turkeys alike having to be slaughtered in attempts to stop the spread. 

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