The French farming ministry on Thursday said that a total of 2.5 million birds needed to be killed as the southwest of the country faces several outbreaks of bird flu. Around 1.2 million animals have already been culled, the ministry said, adding that an additional 1.3 million still needed to be killed as a precautionary measure to tackle the virus. The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, in Asia and Europe has raised concern among governments and the poultry industry after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds and trade restrictions.