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France announces a further cull of ducks in battle against bird flu


France

France announces a further cull of ducks in battle against bird flu

France is to cull a further 360,000 ducks as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the H5N8 bird flu virus.

The slaughter will take place in Landes the Pyrennees-Atlantiques regions in the southwest of the country. The region is home to most of France’s foie gras producers.

France launched a massive cull in January to try to contain the virus and said a month ago it would scale back preventative slaughtering after the spread of the virus slowed, but the number of farms infected has nevertheless continued to rise.

Foie gras producers have estimated the number of poultry killed or culled due to bird flu in France at more than 3.2 million birds, and have forecast this would rise to 3.4 million as the government extended its culling measures.

France and Hungary have been the countries hardest hit by the highly contagious H5N8 virus that has been spreading across Europe, the Middle East and Africa countriesin the past three months.