France raises bird flu risk level to ‘high’ amid new cases, mandates poultry confinement

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5th December 2023 – (Paris) France has heightened the risk level of bird flu from ‘moderate’ to ‘high’ following the discovery of fresh cases of the disease. As a result, poultry farms are now required to confine their birds indoors in a bid to contain the rapid spread of this highly contagious virus.

The decision, made by the agriculture ministry, was officially announced in the Official Journal on Tuesday, underscoring the severity of the situation. Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, has led to the culling of millions of birds globally in recent years. Typically occurring during the autumn and winter seasons, the virus has been proliferating in several European countries in recent weeks, including Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Just last week, France confirmed its first bird flu outbreak of the season on a farm located in Brittany, in the northwestern region of the country. The elevated risk level, now classified as ‘high,’ necessitates the confinement of all poultry within farms, along with the implementation of additional security measures to curtail the disease’s spread.