Bird flu cases rise in France as situation worsens

Photo by Henrique S. Ruzzon/

After witnessing one of the worst outbreaks last season, French ministry says the situation has worsened in previous weeks  

Officials in France have announced that the spread of bird flu has increased in the past few weeks in the country. According to a report by Reuters on Wednesday, December 21, a statement was issued by the country´s farm ministry that said, there were concerns over further shortages in poultry supplies.  

The statement also said, “The health situation with regard to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in France has deteriorated since August and has worsened in recent weeks”.  

France is the second largest poultry producer in the European Union and has suffered major losses due to one of the worst outbreaks of bird flu last season. The country suffered a major outbreak starting from November 2021 until May 2022. The report said, the avian influenza virus first hit the north of the country and further spread south, which is the main center of the country´s duck breeding and foie gras production.  

Over 20 million chickens, ducks and turkeys were culled in order to curb the spread of the virus. This resulted in a sharp fall in poultry and foie gras output across the country.   

The report said, the Marc Fesneau, the French agriculture minister is now working to put forward a strategy for vaccination against the virus. The country has already been working on testing the vaccines on web-footed birds such as ducks and geese. The report also added, France now hopes to convince other EU member states to adopt the same approach.  

Poultry producers often fear trade restriction imposed on meat from vaccinated animals in the EU.

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