France reports high pathogenic avian influenza case

Local authorities have not yet been able to identify the strain, Reuters reported. In a statement, the ministry said all chickens should be slaughtered and the farm disinfected to prevent the spread of disease.

The outbreak has been followed by several outbreaks between poultry farms in Europe and Asia in recent weeks in a sign that the virus is spreading rapidly again.

Several cases of severe bird flu have already been detected in France in the past month among poultry as well as wild birds, prompting the government to require poultry groups to be kept indoors.

A huge wave of the virus last winter led authorities to slaughter more than 3 million ducks in its southwestern duck breeding region known for producing foie gras pate.

Epidemics can prompt importing countries, especially in Asia, to impose trade restrictions on poultry products.

Avian flu is often spread by migratory wild birds.

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