This file photo taken on Sept. 1, 2016 shows good quality foie gras in the the Laffitte factory in Montaut, southwestern France. / AFP / GAIZKA IROZ
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A new outbreak of bird flu hit France's foie gras producers Friday just as a ban on exports outside Europe was about to be lifted in time for the crucial holiday period.The agriculture ministry said the outbreak of the "highly pathogenic" H5N8 strain of the virus was detected Thursday on a duck farm in the southwestern Tarn region, the heart of the lucrative, though controversial, foie gras industry.Japan, a top export market for foie gras, banned imports from France last December after the H5N1 strain was detected on 69 farms in southwestern France.The H5N1 strain, however, has killed more than 420 people, mainly in southeast Asia, since first appearing in 2003 .
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