POUL­TRY CULLED IN GER­MANY AF­TER BIRD FLU FOUND ON TWO FARMS

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

HAM­BURG: About 30,000 tur­keys and ducks were culled in Ger­many over the week­end af­ter bird flu was found on two farms, au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day.

Some 21,600 tur­keys were culled on a farm in Soest in North Rhine West­falia and 9,500 ducks were culled on a farm in Moeser in Sax­ony-An­halt af­ter the vir­u­lent H5N8 bird flu strain was dis­cov­ered on both farms, re­gional au­thor­i­ties said. The con­ta­gious H5N8 strain has been found in about 540 wild birds in Ger­many in re­cent weeks but few cases were found on farms as the cru­cial Christ­mas sea­son for poul­try sales starts.

The Ger­man gov­ern­ment has in­tro­duced tougher san­i­tary rules to pre­vent in­fec­tion by wild birds in­clud­ing or­ders to keep poul­try in­doors in high-risk re­gions plus im­me­di­ate culling of birds on in­fected farms. A se­ries of Euro­pean coun­tries and Is­rael have found cases of H5N8 bird flu in the past few weeks and some or­dered poul­try flocks be kept in­doors to pre­vent the dis­ease spread­ing. France has widened high-risk re­stric­tions to the en­tire coun­try af­ter the de­tec­tion of sev­eral cases of the H5N8 strain in farms. A case of H5N8 bird flu was also re­ported on a farm in Bri­tain on Fri­day.

South Korea, Ja­pan

South Korea and Ja­pan have or­dered fresh culls of poul­try stocks to con­tain out­breaks of avian flu, au­thor­i­ties in the two coun­tries said. The South Korean Agri­cul­ture Min­istry said yes­ter­day it had or­dered the cull of an ad­di­tional 2.4 mil­lion birds, tak­ing the to­tal num­ber to a record 18.4 mil­lion since the first out­break of avian flu was re­ported at a farm on Nov 18. It has called the out­break of the highly path­o­genic H5N6 strain of bird flu more se­vere than the H5N8 strain that spread across the coun­try in 2014 and 2015 be­fore be­ing brought un­der con­trol. The min­istry said H5N8 was also dis­cov­ered this month in the fae­ces of mi­gra­tory birds but has not been seen at poul­try farms.

In Ja­pan, au­thor­i­ties on the north­ern is­land of Hokkaido said at the week­end that about 210,000 chick­ens were be­ing culled af­ter bird flu was dis­cov­ered at a poul­try farm in the town of Shimizu. It is the fifth re­ported out­break in the coun­try since the end of Novem­ber. Nearly 800,000 chick­ens have been culled since then. Parts of Europe and Is­rael have also been hit by the H5N8 virus. About 30,000 tur­keys and ducks were culled in Ger­many over the week­end while France has widened high-risk re­stric­tions to the en­tire coun­try af­ter the de­tec­tion of sev­eral cases of the H5N8 strain in farms. A case of H5N8 bird flu was also re­ported on a farm in Bri­tain on Fri­day. — Reuters

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