Bird Flu Alarm

2006-01-12-France may extend poultry confinement over bird flu

Understanding Avian Influenza

2006-01-12-France may extend poultry confinement over bird flu

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Thursday that poultry confinement measures to prevent the spread of bird flu could be extended if the country's food safety agency deemed there was a renewed bird flu risk.



"We are continuously studying with France's food safety agency AFSSA the evolution of the confinement zones," French Agriculture Minister Dominique Bussereau told French television.

France has ordered poultry to be kept inside in 26 of the 96 mainland departments seen most at risk from infection of the virus by migratory birds. The measures run until the end of May.

There is also a ban on feeding poultry outside across the whole of the country.

"If we had to re-organize our measures because we believed that there was a new (bird flu) risk we could organize the confinement measures in a different way," he said.

"We could maintain them where they already exist and increase them in some regions of marshland and lakes and where we think migratory birds might be," he added.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu that emerged in Asia has recently spread to Turkey. So far, the virus is reported to have infected about 150 people, killing 78 of them in six countries.

Understanding Avian Influenza