HAMBURG, Germany Dec 19 About 30,000 turkeys
and ducks were culled in Germany over the weekend after bird flu
was found on two farms, authorities said on Monday.
Some 21,600 turkeys were culled on a farm in Soest in North
Rhine Westfalia after the virulent H5N8 strain was discovered
and 9,500 ducks were culled on a farm in Moeser in
Saxony-Anhalt, regional authorities said.
It was not clear whether the bird flu found in the second
farm was H5N8 or the milder H5N1 strain.
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.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by David Clarke)