Highly pathogenic H5N8 virus was first detected in a bird in a pet shop on the Mediterranean island of Corsica

French producers of foie gras have called for a mass preventive cull of ducks to try to halt the spread of a severe strain of bird flu that is ripping through poultry farms in the south-west of the country.

The highly pathogenic H5N8 virus was first detected in a bird in a pet shop on the Mediterranean island of Corsica in November before spreading to duck farms on the mainland in December.

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