Belgium reports bird flu outbreak on farm near French border

Chicken stands in a coop in Wangenies

PARIS (Reuters) - Belgium has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, on a poultry farm in the northwestern part of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) said on Monday.

The outbreak, which would be the first this season, was detected in Diksmuide, not far from France. It killed 95 birds and led to the slaughter of the rest of the flock of 20,100 poultry, the Paris-based body said, quoting information from Belgian authorities.

Bird flu, which has led to the culling of hundreds of millions birds in the past years, usually strikes in Europe during autumn and winter. It has recently been detected on farms in most of Belgium's neighbouring countries, including France, the Netherlands and Germany.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Toby Chopra)