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France confirms new case of bird flu

France has confirmed a new case of H5N8 bird flu just 15 km from the location of a recent Belgian outbreak.

Hopes that higher temperatures had brought an end to the high pathogenic outbreak of avian influenza in northern Europe have been dashed.

Photo: ANP / Georges Gobet
Photo: ANP / Georges Gobet

The French Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed a new case of H5N8 bird flu in northern France about 15km from an outbreak announced by Belgian authorities at Tournai at the end of last month.

France is only slowly recovering from a bird flu crisis that hammered its duck sector in southwestern France over the past year with the loss of 600,000 birds.

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AI outbreaks in Belgium

Belgium has reported nearly a dozen cases since the start of June but none over the past 10 days.

Most of the reported cases relate to hobby holdings of captive birds and are linked, but 2 are related to poultry dealers, although a Belgian government spokesman said the dealers did not supply poultry to the commercial sector.

The outbreak has led to a number of countries banning poultry products. Saudi Arabia Food is the latest country to impose a temporary ban on imports of chicken, eggs and their bi-products from Belgium.

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