France extends ban on outdoor poultry rearing

27th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 27 (AFP) - France on Thursday extended a ban on the outdoor rearing of poultry that was imposed across a quarter of the country this week as part of measures to combat the spread of bird flu.

PARIS, Oct 27 (AFP) - France on Thursday extended a ban on the outdoor rearing of poultry that was imposed across a quarter of the country this week as part of measures to combat the spread of bird flu.

Speaking at a veterinary conference near Paris, Agriculture Minister Dominique Bussereau said the measure would be applied to five new departments, in addition to the 21 initially targeted.

The ban was imposed Tuesday on areas where there was thought to be a particular risk of contact with migratory birds.

After its emergence in Asia in 2003, the H5N1 lethal strain of avian flu -- which killed more than 60 people in Asia -- jumped to Europe this month, believed to have been carried by migratory birds.

The virus has been found in dead birds in Romania, Russia and Croatia, as well as in a parrot that died in quarantine in Britain.

Scientists fear the H5N1 strain may mutate, acquiring genes from the human influenza virus, which would make it highly infectious as well as lethal -- possibly killing millions worldwide.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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