Ducks are pictured at a farm in La Bastide Clairence, southwestern France, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
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France will scale back preventive slaughtering of ducks to counter bird flu after the culling of 800,000 birds this month helped slow the spread of the disease in the southwest, the country's agriculture minister said Thursday.France resorted to a mass cull after the highly contagious H5N8 strain of bird flu started spreading among farms in the southwest, the country's main production zone for the duck and goose liver speciality foie gras.France had confirmed 152 cases of H5N8 bird flu on farms as of Thursday, and is one of a number of European countries to have been affected by the virus since late last year.
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