Monday, May 07, 2007

France cuts bird flu risk level, says threat falls

PARIS, May 7 (Reuters) - France has reduced its precautions against bird flu as the risk of the disease hitting the country has become negligible again, the agriculture ministry said on Monday.

France, Europe’s biggest poultry producer, had raised its official risk level from “negligible” to “weak” in February after bird flu struck a British poultry plant, leading to the culling of around 160,000 turkeys.

“The surveillance and protection measures put in place did not lead to the detection of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus on the French territory,” the ministry said in a statement.

Based on a recommendation by French food safety agency AFSSA, France said the transport of wild ducks and the release of carrier pigeons was now once again possible.

Last year the virus was found in France in more than 60 wild birds and at a farm with 11,000 turkeys. It has not been detected since April 2006, the ministry said.

Bird flu story source: Reuters Alertnet

Posted by john T. on 05/07 at 06:09 AM
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