News update:Mar 9, 2016

AI in France: Restrictions tighten as bans increase

Following the discovery of 2 more cases of Avian Influenza in the Dordogne, France and tightened the restrictions for the export and transport of poultry and poultry products. At the same time, at least 8 countries including China, Japan and Egypt, have announced a temporary import ban on poultry and poultry products from France.

The animal health service Anses has so far confirmed 3 cases of AI:

  1. 1 of H5N1 at a hobby farm in Biras,
  2. 1 infection with H5N2 at a farm with 14,000 ducks in Domme and
  3. 1 case at a goose farm with 1,000 animals in Saint-Paul-la-Roche where the serotype has not yet been established.

Anses is examining 2 other poultry farms where AI is suspected, a spokesman for the department of agriculture has said. The Dordogne is the main area for geese and ducks for the production of foie gras, a delicatessen that the French themselves eat mainly at Christmas.

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The department has now forbidden the export of live poultry and eggs from the whole of the Dordogne region. For the transport of such products to other parts of France, a licence is needed from the regional authorities who have to consult the animal health service.

France does however still allow the export from the whole of the country although an increasing number of countries have announced their own import ban. "Unfortunately, some countries take such steps first before they start talking to us," the spokesman of the department said. He underlined that Saudi-Arabia, one of the largest foreign customers of the French poultry industry, has so far not introduced a ban on French products.

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