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HAMBURG (Reuters) - About 21,000 turkeys are being culled after a case of H5N8 bird flu was found on another German farm, authorities said on Wednesday, as the disease spreads across Europe.
The contagious H5N8 strain of the disease has been confirmed on a farm in Haldern/Mehrhoog, said the local government authority in the Wesel region in the western state of North Rhine Westfalia.
The contagious H5N8 strain has been found in well over 500 wild birds in Germany in recent weeks and isolated outbreaks on farms have been occurring despite tougher hygiene rules and orders to keep poultry indoors in high risk areas.
German outbreaks are on a lower scale than in France, where a mass culling of at least 800,000 ducks is taking place as new cases of bird flu were confirmed in southwest France, the country's main foie gras producing region.
The H5N8 strain, which is deadly for poultry but has not been found in humans, has spread across Europe since late last year, leading to the slaughter of some farm flocks and the confinement of poultry indoors.
Different bird flu strains have also spread in Asia in recent weeks leading to the slaughter of millions of birds in South Korea and Japan, and some human infections in China.
Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Elaine Hardcastle