• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Bird flu forces halt in poultry farming in south west France
Gendarmes wearing masks stand outside a house where an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has been detected in chickens, on November 25, 2015 in Biras. Photo: AFP

Bird flu forces halt in poultry farming in south west France

AFP · 15 Jan 2016, 07:26

Published: 15 Jan 2016 07:26 GMT+01:00

The highly virulent H5N1 strain of the virus was identified at a chicken farm in Dordogne in November, prompting several countries including Japan and China to ban French poultry imports.
  
In late November, Japan also stopped importing French foie gras, a luxury food prized for festive celebrations but controversial because its production requires force-feeding the birds.
   
Since then H5N1 has been detected on 69 farms in southwestern France, where the bulk of French foie gras is produced.
   
The agriculture ministry's order allows farmers to continue raising the birds they have, but they may not take on new chicks until after a cleanup that is to begin on Monday, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.
   
The process of specially fattening geese and ducks to produce foie gras (fatty liver) takes 12 to 15 weeks.
   
After the current stock is treated, the farmers must freeze their production while their farms are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, the statement said.
   
Production could resume in May or June, but the timeline is still being hammered out, it said.
   
That will be in time for the poultry farmers to be able to produce foie gras for the next festive season, the statement said.
   
Story continues below…
Japan's foie gras ban, which became effective on November 26, will be lifted 90 days after all affected French poultry farms finish culling their birds and conclude necessary sanitary procedures, according to the Japanese agriculture ministry.
   
For the first eight months of 2015 Japan was the top global importer of foie gras, according to a French industry group.
   
France, which produces 75 percent of global foie gras, exported 4,934 tonnes of it in 2014.
Today's headlines
View from the rue
What do Parisians think of France's burqini bans?
Photo: AFP

With 64 percent of the French against burqinis at the beach, what do the Parisians think?

Almost half of France now on heatwave alert
Children cool off in Nice's fountains. Photo: AFP

Orange alerts - the second highest level - were issued to 43 départements as France's heatwave shows no signs of stopping.

France's top ten beaches to survive the heatwave
Photo: Gomezdegomera/Flickr

Temperatures are soaring... why not head to the beach?

Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
People taking part in activities in the Bassin de la Villette. Photo: AFP

If you fancy a rare chance to swim along the Paris canal system, here comes your chance.

French wine output drops 10 percent after stormy weather
A vineyard in Valfaunes partially destroyed after a violent hailstorm near the southern city of Montpellier. Photo: AFP

Bad weather has pushed wine production in France down ten percent this year.

Migrants armed with sticks hold up truck driver in Calais
Migrants standing near the Calais motorway. File photo: AFP

The driver involved says he deals with similar incidents "every night".

Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
The burqini ban in 30 French towns has provoked debate worldwide. Photo: AFP

Almost two thirds of French people said they're against the controversial swimwear.

Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Photo: Thomas Heylen/Flickr

A few things you need to know about interning in France.

Police arrest Lyon man who 'talked of attack plans'
French soldiers patrolling the Part-Dieu train station last year. Photo: AFP

The man had talked about plans to attack a busy district in central Lyon.

France's burqini ban goes before country's top court
A woman models the burqini swimsuit. Photo: AFP

France's highest administrative court will on Thursday examine a request to scrap a ban on the Islamic burqini swimsuit.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
'To boycott France is to surrender to terrorists'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
21 photos to make you want to come to France right now
Society
This is how much the French are obsessed with cheese
National
French MP's call for Facebook ID cards blasted 'as idiotic'
Travel
Summer checklist: Fourteen great travel ideas for France
Travel
Here's why France is still world's top tourist destination
'Wealthy American tourists' snub France over terror fears
National
Where to go swimming in France (and where to avoid)
2,751
jobs available