FRANCE - The H5N8 strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza has been found in several different locations in France in the past week.
Five different farms have been affected by the outbreaks. Four of these farms were in the Tarn region, where the disease was first discovered two weeks ago, just one day before France was due to be declared free from the disease. The outbreaks were discovered either through unusual mortality levels or through surveillance measures.
Another outbreak was found in another south western region - Gers. The farm was identified as affected following clinical signs among the 7600 ducks on the multi-species farm.
In total these five outbreaks resulted in the destruction of over 50,000 birds.
A 3-km protection zone and a 10-km surveillance zone were implemented around the affected farms.
Another outbreak was also identified in Gers during surveillance activities, on a duck farm. However, this disease incident was only a low pathogenic form of flu, which does not kill birds. It was also caused by the H5N1 strain, a different strain that caused a lot of problems in south west France last year.
One thousand ducks were culled to prevent the disease spreading, and a regulated zone of a one-kilometre radius was implemented around the outbreak.
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