France Impose Strict Safety Checks After Bird Flu Hits Europe
Within Europe, several countries have reported outbreaks of a highly pathogenic strain of the avian influenza virus H5N8. With Germany, Austria, Croatia and Switzerland all officially reporting outbreaks of bird flu, which concerned a particularly hostile strain affecting wild birds, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has reported that France has imposed stricter safety checks to counter the virus, which could have a detrimental effect on the region’s poultry industry, worth an estimated £27 billion a year.
The Agricultural Minister for France added in a statement that the highly pathogenic H5N8 influenza virus has been found in wild birds across Eastern Europe and precautionary steps must be put in place to ensure the highly contagious bird flu virus does not spread to any further countries. Steps have been taken by several different governments, including Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands who have ordered farmers to keep poultry flocks indoors following the outbreak. The last epidemic of H5N8 to hit Europe back in November 2014 caused more than 336,000 birds to be culled.
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