December 14, 2016 / 2:52 PM / 7 months ago

Bird flu found on farm in big German poultry area

2 Min Read

HAMBURG (Reuters) - A case of bird flu has been found on a small turkey farm in Lower Saxony in northern Germany, one of Europe's largest production regions, although it is not yet certain what variant of the disease it is, state authorities said on Wednesday.

Tests are underway to see if the disease is of the high risk H5N8 type, but 8,400 turkeys on the farm in the Vechta area will be culled regardless of the outcome, the Lower Saxony state agriculture ministry said.

Another farm in Lower Saxony also suffered a bird flu outbreak in November when 108,000 birds were culled.

The contagious H5N8 strain has been found in around 540 wild birds in Germany in recent weeks but few cases were found on farms after the government introduced tougher sanitary rules to prevent infection by wild birds.

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 last week widened high risk restrictions to the entire country after the detection of several cases of the H5N8 strain in farms in southwest France and in wild ducks in northern France.

Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Alexander Smith

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