As experts warned bird flu was likely to hit poultry flocks in a number of European states, Sweden reported that two wild ducks found dead on the Baltic coast had an aggressive form of the virus, probably the dangerous H5N1 strain. A 16th wild swan has tested positive in the area of eastern France where the virus was found on a turkey farm.
Meanwhile Niger has ordered a cull of poultry in areas hit by a new outbreak, the second in a sub-Saharan African nation after Nigeria. H5N1 has been detected in around 20 new countries over the past month, crossing into Europe and Africa from Asia.
Veterinary experts from 50 countries have been meeting in Paris to assess the situation. Consumers are being told that cooked poultry meat represents no threat but at least 20 countries have banned French poultry imports. Paris says that it is in talks to reverse the bans.