France orders massive duck cull to contain bird flu
All free range ducks, as well as geese, will be slaughtered between January 5 and approximately January 20 in an area in southwestern France comprising parts of the Gers, Landes and Hautes-Pyrenees administrative departments.
France, which has the largest poultry flock in the European Union, has reported 89 outbreaks of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus so far, a majority of which are in the Gers.
"The principle is to quickly kill the species most affected to date by the virus," the ministry said in a statement, saying these were ducks reared by foie gras makers. ■