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Supply Chain

France Finds Bird Flu At Turkey Farm In West, Netherlands Reports New Outbreak

France has detected highly pathogenic bird flu on a farm in the west of the country, marking the first outbreak in the region, poultry industry group Anvol said, citing a local government publication.

The outbreak was found at a farm of about 13,000 turkeys in Beaufou in the Vendee department, Anvol director Yann Nedelec told Reuters.

"This means that there is a new area hit," Nedelec said, stressing that the region was vulnerable to bird flu outbreaks as it hosts a large number of poultry farms and is under some migrating birds' corridors.

Avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, is often carried by wild birds in the autumn and winter.

So far this season the virus has already killed more than 600,000 poultry in France, Nedelec said.

A first farm case in France had been detected on 26 November on a poultry farm in the north,

Outbreaks in north were now under control, Nedelec said.

However, the virus was still spreading among duck farms in the foie gras production zone of the southwest, where flocks were decimated by outbreaks last winter.

'Strict Measures'

"Hopefully it won't be as bad this year, looking at the strict measures we have taken, including keeping all flocks indoors," Nedelec said.

In Italy, data from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) show nearly four million birds died in the country because of bird flu between mid October and 26 December.

Bird flu cannot be transmitted through the eating of poultry products. But outbreaks are raising concern among epidemiologists, especially as the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, because bird flu can be transmitted from one human to another.

Outbreak In The Netherlands

Around 190,000 chickens on two neighbouring farms in the east of the Netherlands will be culled after the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus was detected on one of the farms, Dutch health authorities said on Tuesday night.

It is the second bird flu outbreak reported in the Netherlands this week, after a similar discovery in the northern province of Friesland led to the culling of around 225,000 chickens there.

It has been spreading quickly in Europe in recent months, putting the industry on alert after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Supply Chain news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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