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Asian countries ban French poultry after bird flu outbreak

Staff writer |
A number of countries in Asia and north Africa have banned imports of French poultry following a bird flu outbreak, the agriculture ministry said.

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Algeria, China, Egypt, Japan, Morocco, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia have stopped imports following the outbreak last month in the southwestern area of Dordogne, said Loic Evain, deputy head of the ministry’s food division.

“The list is not exhaustive,” Evain said, but does not include France’s 27 European Union partners, who have accepted containment measures proposed by Paris under World Health Organisation guidelines.

“Unfortunately some countries’ first reaction is to close their borders and only then to discuss” strategy, Evain said. He added that “for the time being there is no decision” to block French poultry by Gulf region states which are major consumers.

The European Commission confirmed birds at a French chicken farm were infected with the H5N1 strain. The commission ordered all 32 birds at the farm to be culled and called for close monitoring of neighbouring poultry farms.

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