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|Cows struck by anthrax often die in less than 24 hours. (Photo: AFP/Joe Klamar)|
Anthrax has been detected in 23 locations, local authorities said in a statement, with 54 animals killed, mainly bovines.
Vaccination doses for 5,000 cows and 10,000 sheep have been rushed to the area to tackle the worst anthrax outbreak in France in nearly 20 years.
Anthrax is an infection spread by spores of the Bacillus anthracis bacteria which occur naturally and can be ingested by livestock and passed on to humans, usually through skin contact, causing black lesions. If left untreated it can be fatal.