France kills ducks, chickens, turkeys and pigeons after bird flu outbreak

Yellow baby ducks close to each other on a farm
Baby ducks, photo: Cole Keister on Unsplash

Ducks, chickens, turkeys and pigeons were killed in France after an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N8 strain of bird flu, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

“The health situation regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza is worrying. Since August 1, 25 cases have been detected in Europe among wild and captive birds,” it said.

Two cases of H5N8 were reported last week in Belgium, one at a bird merchant and one at a private home, and another case at a home in Luxembourg, the French ministry added.

France increased its bird flu risk level to “moderate” from “negligible”, which means birds at farms and homes cannot go outside in some areas, it said.

Last winter, France killed around 3 million birds after a bird flu outbreak in its southwestern duck-breeding region.

Governments worldwide are mass killing animals as a solution for bird flu, also called avian influenza, outbreaks at farms.

Animal rights organizations have long advised reconsidering the whole farming industry to prevent animal diseases from jumping to humans.

In February, Russian scientists detected the H5N8 strain of avian influenza in humans.

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