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South Korea - FRANCE

South Korea bans French poultry imports after bird flu case found

The H5N1 virus, dyed brown
The H5N1 virus, dyed brown Reuters

South Korea has banned French poultry imports following the discovery of bird flu on a farm in south-west France. The French agriculture ministry says that the H5N1 virus cannot be passed on to humans through poultry products.

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South Korea's agriculture ministry announced the ban on the import of poultry meat, live animals and eggs, but not processed products, from France on Friday, two days after the outbreak was reported.

South Korea imported a tonne of duck meat, 13 tonnes of foie gras, 844,000 chickens and 41,000 ducks from France between January and October.

The H5N1 infection was found a week ago in a small farm in the Dordogne region where the owner raised chicken for home consumption.

Although it was not clear whether there was a risk of human infection, all 30 birds were put down, the farmyard disinfected and a three-kilometre protection zone declared.

Two other farms in the same region have been placed under surveillance.

There have been 844 cases of H5N1, popularly known as bird flu, declared and it has killed 449 people since an outbreak in 2003 in south-east Asia.

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