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16,000 ducks slaughtered due to avian flu case in Brittany

The case comes amid a major spread of the illness across poultry and wild birds in the region

A photo of three ducks eating grain on a duck farm

The ducks were slaughtered after a case was confirmed at the farm, which now has exclusion zones around it in a bid to prevent further spread Pic: Andi111 / Shutterstock

More than 16,000 ducks have been slaughtered after a case of avian flu was confirmed on a farm in Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, late last week.

The disease was confirmed on Friday, September 9, on a farm in Saint-Onen-la Chapelle. Restrictions zones have now been set up around the farm to avoid further contamination.

In a statement, the prefecture said: “To avoid any risk of viral circulation and spread of the virus to other farms, restricted protection zones (zones réglementées de protection, ZP), and surveillance zones (zone de surveillance, ZS) are set up within a radius of 3km and 10km [respectively] around the infected farm.”

The communes affected by the 3km zone radius are: Saint-Onen-la-Chapelle, Le Crouais, Saint-Méen-le-Grand, and part of Montauban-de-Bretagne.

Communes affected by the 10km zone are Quédillac, Médréac, Gaël, Muel, Boisgervilly, Bléruais, Saint-Maugan, Saint-Uniac, and part of Montauban-de-Bretagne, and Iffendic.

Within these zones, all places where poultry and birds are kept must abide by certain regulations. The movement of birds is prohibited, unless an exemption is granted by the Direction Départementale de la Protection des Populations (DDPP).

The prefecture added: "State services, in particular the DDPP, are working alongside the farmer, who will be compensated for the losses suffered.”

Read more: France announces bird flu support fund for stricken poultry farmers 

It reminded people in the area to "strictly respect biosecurity measures throughout the department and to remain extremely vigilant.

The discovery of dead wild birds must be reported to the SAGIR surveillance network on 02 99 41 15 99.  

The slaughter comes as the Brittany region as a whole has been particularly badly affected in the past few months, while Normandy has also had cases among wild seagulls.

The situation has even caused issues with the poultry and egg food supply.

Read more: Bird flu in France: Growing epidemic affects food ingredient supply 
Read more: Egg prices to rise sharply in France as a result of bird flu epidemic 

Emmanuel Berthier, Brittany region prefect, said: "The western zone has been hit hard. This virus can spread to backyards and duck and chicken farms. 

“We have had to euthanise 16 million poultry, 11 of which are in the western zone. This virus strikes everywhere. We managed to stop its spread before the summer, but in the North Sea and Brittany, it is still very active, especially in wild species.”

Related articles 

Bird flu in France: Growing epidemic affects food ingredient supply
France announces bird flu support fund for stricken poultry farmers 
New measures brought in after seagulls die of bird flu in Normandy 

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