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France orders another mass poultry cull to avert bird flu spark

France orders another mass poultry cull to avert bird flu spark

French agricultural ministry has to order a mass poultry cull to prevent the bird flu crisis. Europe is continuing to fight against the pathogen, which cause the death f poultry for the second year in a row. 

A bird flu crisis deepens across Europe, and the French authorities ordered the poultry farmers another mass cull of their flocks, , mainly ducks. A southwest of France — home to France’s famed foie-gras industry — suffered a lot from the bird flu.

On Thursday, the government ordered poultry and waterfowl in parts of the southwest  to be killed to stop the disease spreading. That follows a severe outbreak that claimed about 3.5 million poultry between autumn 2020 and spring 2021.

In view of highly pathogenic varieties of the bird flu, the virus can be deadly to poultry. The pathogen often spreads through migrating birds and cases typically peak in winter. Europe has been facing a grim season with outbreaks in more than two dozen countries since October, risking higher chicken prices and fewer-free range eggs. That may spell more bad news for consumers already facing near-record food costs.

The latest cull order affects 2.5 million poultry, Bloomberg News said. Many of the cases in France have been on duck farms, including for foie gras. In particular, the Aquitaine region is where most birds are raised to produce the luxury food, made from the liver of fattened ducks or geese

This week, some 216 cases were reported in southwest France, compared with 291 at the same time last year, the agriculture ministry said. Breeder flocks and hatcheries will be preserved to allow farms to be restocked after the crisis.