Three million poultry have been killed in southwest France, imperiling foie gras producers. An epidemic of bird flu is rapidly expanding in Europe, especially in France and Hungar, and the Middle East over the past few months. The French government initiated a massive cull in January, but the number of infected farms has continued to grow to 249 outbreaks detected as of Feb. 15.

Foie gras producers forecast that as many as 3.4 million birds will be slaughtered as the government expands the affected area. That number is expected to continue to rise as more outbreaks are detected each day. Producers of duck and goose liver pate have been especially impacted as their rearing methods, which involve keeping birds outside and then moving them inside, raise the risk of the virus spreading, reports NBC NewsFull Story

Related: French Foie Gras Production Threatened by Avian Flu; USDA Moves to Dismiss Foie Gras Case.