France eases restrictions as number of bird flu outbreaks wane

France eases restrictions as number of bird flu outbreaks wane

Following a decline in the number of incidents in recent weeks, France will eliminate most restrictions on poultry raising that had been imposed across the country to limit the quick spread of bird flu.

Since the end of November, France has slaughtered 16 million birds to combat the country’s worst-ever bird flu outbreak, which accelerated as the highly contagious virus expanded to the country’s main poultry districts in western France.

According to a ministry official, the number of fresh outbreaks of the virus has peaked in France, with 1,374 chicken farms affected as of May 9.

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The ministry said a decree removing restrictions, including keeping birds indoors, will be announced on Tuesday for all of France save the worst-affected districts in the west.

Because of the destruction, it may do to flocks, the likelihood of trade restrictions, and the risk of human transmission, avian influenza, sometimes known as bird flu, has caused alarm among governments and the poultry industry.

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Bird flu is a seasonal disease that affects migratory birds in the fall and subsides in the spring. This year’s progress has been slowed by an extraordinary second wave of outbreaks. Last March, France relaxed its prohibitions.

According to the government, France plans to test an experimental vaccination against avian influenza in web-footed animals like ducks and geese. According to the ministry, it aims to be able to present successful outcomes to other European Union member states in order to develop a shared approach.

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Bird flu is spread mostly by infected wild birds’ excrement and the transportation of infected items. Although it cannot be transmitted to humans through the consumption of chicken products, there have been incidents of humans contracting strains of the disease after coming into close contact with diseased birds, including one in the United States last month.


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