June 6, 2017 / 11:36 AM / in 2 years

France reports mild H7 bird flu virus at farm

PARIS (Reuters) - France last month detected a case of low-pathogenic H7 bird flu at a farm in the center of the country, a report from the French agriculture ministry showed.

H7 is a less severe form than the H5N8 virus which has sparked the culling of millions of poultry birds in recent months.

H7 bird flu was found in the rural district of Saulnay on a farm with 4,980 ducks and pheasants, said the ministry report, which was published by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on Tuesday.

All the birds on the farm were slaughtered, the report said.

Duck farmers in France’s southwest, the main production region for liver pate speciality foie gras, resumed rearing last week after a six-week suspension ordered as part of measures to stamp out the more virulent H5N8 virus.

France, which has the largest poultry flock in the European Union, has been one of the countries most affected by the H5N8 bird flu that has spread via wild birds across Europe since late last year.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz; editing by Jason Neely

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