France's agriculture ministry revealed on Wednesday that an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu had been found in the southwest part of the country.
“A case of avian influenza has been confirmed in a yard in Dordogne,” the ministry said in a statement.
The virus, which is highly pathogenic – meaning it can cause disease, was identified on Tuesday by the France's National Agency of Sanitary Security (Anses).
The bird flu outbreak, found among chickens, was the first one in France since 2006.
The health ministry said that only those who hadclose and prolonged contact with the sick animals were at risk of contamination.
Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll immediately asked his services to activate a national intervention emergency plan following European and international rules, the agricultural ministry said.