French authorities are planning to slaughter some 600,000 ducks in order to eradicate bird flu from a south-western region, Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll confirmed on Tuesday.
Speaking on France Bleu regional radio, the minister confirmed that all farmed ducks in the Landes area - where they are a traditional speciality - would have to be killed.
More than 300 cases of H5N8 bird flu have recently been detected in France, about half of them in Landes.
The World Health Organization says that human infection with the H5N8 strain of the virus is unlikely but cannot be ruled out.
Other strains of bird flu are far more dangerous to humans. Chinese authorities last week reported 79 people killed by the H7N9 strain in January, the highest monthly toll since bird flu was first detected in the country four years ago.