On-the-Ground Updates

France accounts for 61 outbreaks of bird flu contamination

Frozen Whole Chicken
Innovation & Technology
Ricardo Lopes
Published Jan 3, 2021
France has accounted for 61 outbreaks of bird flu contamination since Friday, January 1, the Ministry of Agriculture said today. In a statement, the ministry explained that most of these outbreaks are located in the Landes region, to the southwest and traditionally linked to the production of 'foie gras', a typical French delicacy made of duck and goose liver.

The last balance sheet, on Tuesday, December 29, reported that there were 21 cases of contamination by bird flu across the country, but that number has now risen to 61. The French government has decided to widen the territorial perimeter that allows local authorities to slaughter animals, including those that are healthy, to prevent the spread of the disease. However, the measure is criticized by the producers' unions as it is seen as ineffective from the health point of view, and “morally unacceptable”.

The first outbreaks of bird flu in France were recorded in November in Corsica and the Paris region. According to the French authorities, "the presence of the H5N8 virus, identical to that detected in Haute-Corse, which is not transmissible to humans" had been detected. The disease is not considered dangerous for humans. The consumption of poultry and eggs, however, is not advised.

Following outbreaks in Russia and Kazakhstan this summer, the epidemic, which is not dangerous for humans, has spread to Western Europe, where alert levels have increased. The Netherlands, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Belgium were particularly affected by the virus, spread by migratory birds.
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