France hit by multi-national poultry ban

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Fears of a bird flu outbreak in France were confirmed in November
Fears of a bird flu outbreak in France were confirmed in November

Related tags Bird flu outbreak Avian influenza Influenza Poultry

A string of countries across Asia and north Africa have banned imports of chicken from France after fears of a bird flu virus began to spread.

Algeria, China, Egypt, Japan, Morocco, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia had all banned poultry from France, the agriculture ministry’s deputy head of food, Loic Evain, said on Thursday 3 December.

“The list is not exhaustive,”​ said Evain, who added: “Unfortunately some countries’ first reaction is to close their borders and only then to discuss strategy”​ on how to deal with the outbreak.

Fears of a bird flu outbreak – the first one for eight years in France – were confirmed in November after the deadly H5N1 strain was discovered in a small, family-run farm in Dordogne.

Could spread

Only 32 birds were hit with the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus strain, but there were fears it could spread to larger farms in the area.

Dordogne is home to a highly concentrated population of poultry and foie gras producers, but French authorities were quick to contain the outbreak.

A surveillance zone of 10m was set up to monitor the farm in Dordogne and ones in close proximity to it. So far there have been no further reports of avian influenza in the area and all 32 birds on the farm have been culled.

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