Bird flu outbreak in France will result in the culling of 400,000 ducks

Yvonne O'Halloran

Producers of foie gras in France are calling for nearly half a million ducks to be culled because of the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus that is spreading across the country. 350,000 ducks have already been slaughtered since Christmas Eve because of this situation. Mounting cases of H5N8 bird flu strains on duck farms in the Landes region have resulted in culling of these animals within a 5km zone around the location of any outbreak.

The strain can affect humans, but according to the NHS, no humans have yet been infected by the strain of bird flu H5N8.

China has confirmed a suspension of French poultry imports, however the agriculture ministry stated that French farmers will be compensated for culled poultry.

Foie gras is a horrific practice that involves making pate from ducks livers. A metal pipe is pushed down their throat and they are force fed in order to create a fatty liver. Once this occurs, the duck is killed so that the liver can be sold- which is considered a delicacy in countries such as France.This practice is already banned in parts of the USA, Australia, Turkey, India, Poland and Belgium.

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