Vietnam in fresh AI outbreak

Vietnam has confirmed a fresh outbreak of Avian Influenza while France plays down its own AI fears

Vietnam has confirmed a fresh outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI) in the past two weeks, the country's first reported outbreak in a year.

The Vietnamese government has reported thousands of poultry have died and the risk of the virus spreading further is said to be high.

Meanwhile French officials are playing down fears AI was responsible for the deaths fo 4,000 chickens on a farm in north east France. The agriculture ministry has released a statement claiming the initial indications did not point to bird flu and has suggested the deaths might have been down to poor ventilation on the farm.

The ministry reported that the birds died suddenly on Saturday while another 3,500 chickens at the same location appeared to remain completely healthy.

"The clinical aspects (of the case) as well as the results of the autopsies do not especially indicate a diagnostic of bird flu," the ministry's statement said.

The owner of the farm also claims they are 99% certain bird flu is not the cause of the mass deaths.

Further tests are being carried out, it was reported.

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