Wednesday, February 15, 2006

French Told To Keep All Birds Indoors As EU Bird Flu Panic Takes Hold

The French food safety agency has advised all farmers to keep poultry in doors for the foreseeable future.

From the AFP news wire : "France is Europe's biggest poultry producer, with free-range birds accounting for 17 percent of its production -- as well as western Europe's main crossroads for migratory birds, potential carriers of the virus.

A spokesman for the food safety agency was quoted as saying : "We have absolutely no control over the introduction of the virus by migratory birds that are about to start returning from Africa to Siberia, Scandinavia and Greenland. It is unavoidable...All migratory species either fly over or stop in France.

French poultry, in particular, now face a greater risk of avian influenza infection following the discovery of the virus in poultry in at least four farms in Nigeria. Dead swans have been found in Greece and Italy, killed by the deadly virus.

Once again the effects on the poultry industry, and free range, organic chickens, ducks and turkeys in paticular, will be enormous, even without the bird flu killing in France.

Avian influenza has now been detected in wild swans in Italy, bordering France, Slovenia and Bulgaria.

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