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Severe Bird Flu Episode in France Calls on Duck Cull - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A massive disposal of ducks was ordered in three different French regions that were found greatly affected by a severe episode of bird flu. Containment is the chief strategy implemented after facing the rapid spreading over the past month, the agriculture ministry said.

All free range ducks and geese will be slaughtered by Jan. 20 at most. The wild birds will be slain in an area in southwestern France comprising parts of the Gers, Landes and Hautes-Pyrenees administrative departments, it said in a statement.

Some farms will be exempted, however, including those which confine birds and those that perform full production cycles, from ducklings to transformation into end-products.

Southwestern France, home to most producers of foie gras made of duck and geese liver, had already been the centre of a severe episode of bird flu last year, although outbreaks involved other strains.

Several European countries and Israel have found cases of the contagious H5N8 strain over the past two months and some have ordered poultry flocks be kept indoors to prevent the disease spreading.