France confirms case of H5N8 bird flu near Belgium border
"A case of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu is confirmed on June 30 on a poultry farm in Brillon," the ministry said in a statement.
The affected poultry was located 15 kilometers from a non-commercial farm in Tournai where 11 cases of avian flu have been detected in June, the ministry added.
"To rapidly stop the virus' spread, protection and surveillance zones are set up immediately... In these areas, movement of all susceptible animals is prohibited and bio-security measures are reinforced," the ministry said.
Earlier this year, France, the main producer of famous foie gras in the European Union, slaughtered 600,000 ducks in its southwest region of Les Landes to prevent avian influenza contamination.
Following a severe strain of H5N8 bird flu hitting several European countries in 2016, France has already imposed precautionary measures to prevent poultry contacts with wild birds and to restrict hunt in high risk areas. ■