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334242

France raises bird flu alert level after resurgence of virus

PARIS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - France will tighten measures to contain bird flu after a resurgence of the virus that swept through poultry flocks last winter, said the agriculture ministry, adding that the nationwide alert level on bird flu had been raised to 'moderate' from 'low'.

France experienced its worst-ever bird flu crisis between November and May, with over 19 million animals being culled to stem a severe strain of the disease that spread in major poultry breeding regions in western France.

The government scaled back restrictions in June after a lull in outbreaks, before an unusual upturn in cases during the summer that affected large numbers of wild birds in coastal areas as well as some farm flocks inland.

Other European countries have also reported renewed outbreaks of bird flu since the summer. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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