Ducks spared from bird flu, French foie gras back on menus

PARIS, March 4 (Reuters) – Increased foie gras production this winter, thanks to France largely getting rid of the bird flu that wreaked havoc on chicken flocks in previous years, will provide enough delicacies for the Paris Olympics, producers said. on Monday.

France is one of the countries hardest hit by the unprecedented global spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has severely affected the supply of poultry meat and eggs in recent years, causing prices to soar in many parts of the world.

This led to the government launching a campaign in October to vaccinate all ducks against bird flu. Ducks are one of the species most susceptible to the virus and are most likely to carry it unnoticed, resulting in a greater risk of transmission.

France, by far the world’s largest producer of foie gras, has seen just 10 bird flu outbreaks since vaccinations began, compared with 304 in the same period last year, official figures show.

The reduction in the epidemic has allowed producers to increase foie gras production for the first time in 2023, with industry organization Cifog expecting output to increase by 20% to 10,000 tons.

“We are once again a reliable producer in terms of supply and quality,” Cifog director Marie-Pierre Pe told Reuters. “The challenge for us is to get duck breast and foie gras back on restaurant menus, especially with the Olympics. On the eve of this event, the whole world will flock to France. We will be up to the task.”

Pe said about 40% of foie gras sold in France is consumed in restaurants.

France’s foie gras’ main competitors are Bulgaria and Romania, both of which have continued outbreaks of bird flu this winter.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Spanish editing by Carlos Serrano)

Source link

Leave a Comment