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More than 200,000 ducks have already been slaughtered in France to stem the spread of avian flu in farms and around 400,000 are in the process of being, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Tuesday.
Some 100,000 ducks were slaughtered inside the identified sources of contamination, mainly in the South-West, while 104,000 were subjected to preventive slaughter around these outbreaks, said the head of veterinary services and Deputy Managing Director of Food Loïc Evain. “There are about 400,000 left to slaughter” preventively, a “number that is likely to change.”
The latest report from the Ministry of Agriculture reports 61 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (commonly known as avian influenza) in France on January 1, including 48 in the Landes which has a large number of geese and duck farms. intended for the production of fatty liver.
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“A very, very contagious virus”
The authorities have decided to preventively slaughter all the poultry raised within a radius of one kilometer around an identified outbreak. Between one and three kilometers around the hearth, “all palmipeds, whether or not claustrated” are slaughtered, as are the other types of poultry “when they are not claustrated”, Loïc Evain said.
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“We are facing an exceptional episode with a very very contagious virus” which “affects free-range farms but not only”, underlined the ministerial official. “Experts are gathered at this very moment” to assess the situation, he continued: “If the spread of the virus continues, we will have to take even more drastic measures.”
These measures will be “based on a scientific basis, absolutely essential to explain to the farmers concerned the relevance of the decisions that one takes”, he specified.
In a press release Tuesday, the General Confederation of Aviculture (CFA), affiliated to the FNSEA, considers “urgent that the State strengthen its means of action on the ground, in collaboration with the sector, to act as closely as possible and as soon as possible “in order to contain the H5N8 virus. The agricultural unions Confédération paysanne and Modef denounce the preventive slaughter of healthy animals, deeming them “as ineffective in terms of health as they are morally unacceptable”.