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Suffocation, not bird flu

Thousands of chickens died on a poultry farm in the Haute-Marne region on 16 December. The flock on the farm, amounting to over 7000 birds, apparently looked healthy in the morning, however, by evening 4000 were dead. French officials said that bird flu cannot be ruled out.

 
According to the country's agriculture ministry, the 4,000 chickens were probably killed due to problems with ventilation, rather than bird flu.
In a statement, the ministry said that the birds most likely suffocated as temperatures surged. Early veterinary tests show no sign of avian influenza; however, further tests will be conducted anyway.
The agriculture ministry said that the farm's remaining birds are healthy.
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