France to cull 600,000 ducks

Paris, Feb 21 (IANS) French authorities will cull 600,000 ducks in the Landes region due to bird flu, the Agriculture Minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking about the radical measure in an interview, Stephane Le Foll said the virus had spread from the east to the west of Landes and the goal was to try and stabilise the situation, Efe news reported.

The decision was in line with what farmers had asked for in a meeting last week, when they called for the reinforcement of the strategy to combat the disease.

The minister noted that there was no vaccine against bird flu and that protocols have improved since the end of last year.

Since the H5N8 virus was identified in France in November when it apparently arrived via migratory birds, more than three million ducks have been culled.

This means that about eight per cent of the nation’s bird production has been lost to the disease.