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Bird Flu

France launches mass duck cull to stem bird flu spread

PARIS: Authorities in southwest France began a cull of hundreds of thousands of ducks Thursday as the government scrambles to contain an outbreak of a virulent strain of bird flu sweeping Europe. The farm birds in France's foie gras heartland are to be slaughtered to stem the spread of the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus. Several culls have already taken place since December, dealing a blow to producers of foie gras -- a controversial delicacy made from the livers of ducks and geese after force-feeding -- in the run-up to…

Germany to cull more turkeys after bird flu outbreak spreads

BERLIN: About 22,000 turkeys are to be culled after suspect cases of bird flu were found on two more German farms in the major German poultry production region of Lower Saxony, authorities said on Monday. It is not yet known if the cases involve the contagious H5N8 flu strain but the birds will be culled as a precaution, the local government authority in Cloppenburg in Lower Saxony said. Around 90,000 turkeys, chickens and ducks were also culled last week after the H5N8 strain was confirmed on farms in Lower Saxony…

Dutch destroy 190,000 ducks in first bird flu cull

AMSTERDAM: Some 190,000 ducks were destroyed on Saturday at six farms in the Netherlands following an avian flu outbreak, the country's first cull of an epidemic sweeping northern Europe. Outbreaks of avian flu, primarily the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain, have been reported in Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden over the past week. Dutch authorities did not say what strain of the virus had been discovered at a poultry farm in the village Biddinghuizen, some 70 km (43 miles) east of Amsterdam. The cull was…