The French agriculture ministry has confirmed that three swans found dead in eastern France were killed by the H5N1 bird flu virus.
This is the first cases of the disease in France in over a year.
Michel Barnier, Minister of Agriculture and Fishing, is putting in place the risk prevention measures corresponding to the shift from the ‘moderate’ level to the ‘high’ level.
The “high” level: In mainland France, all birds and poultry will have to be either locked up or protected by nets to avoid all contact with wild birds. The gathering of birds and pigeon contests will be forbidden.
French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot said that the country was not threatened by a bird flu pandemic at present, but the government would remain on alert.
“We have to be extremely vigilant because the large flu epidemic that appeared after the First World War, also known as Spanish flu, was of avian origin,” she said.