Eight countries, including China and Japan, have suspended imports of French poultry after the H5N1 bird flu virus was detected in southwestern France, Reuters reported, citing the French agriculture ministry.
The highly pathogenic H5N1 virus killed 22 chickens out of 32 kept in a family backyard at Biras in the Perigord region, French officials said last month.
It was the first outbreak in eight years to hit the European Union’s biggest agricultural producer.
Following the outbreak, Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco are said to have suspended French poultry imports.
The outbreak comes just before demand for foie gras, produced from duck or goose liver, peaks over the year-end holiday season.
Japan is the largest importer of French foie gras.
Several cases of bird flu have been detected in the last two weeks of the farms in the Dordogne, a first in France since 2007 and the discovery of H5N1 in wild swans in Moselle.
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