PARIS: French producers of foie gras called on Thursday for a mass preventive cull of ducks to try to halt the spread of a severe strain of bird flu that is ripping through poultry farms in the southwest of the country.
The highly pathogenic H5N8 virus was first detected in a bird in a pet shop on the Mediterranean island of Corsica in November before spreading to duck farms on the mainland in December.
Several European countries have reported cases of infection, five years after a major outbreak prompted the slaughter of millions of ducks in France. On Tuesday, the government’s chief veterinary officer, Loic Evain, said that over 200,000 ducks had already been slaughtered and that a further 400,000 birds were set to be culled, out of around 35 million reared each year.
Source: The News