October 11, 2017 / 1:34 PM / in 10 days

Italy culls birds after five H5N8 avian flu outbreaks in October

ROME (Reuters) - Italy has had five outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu in farms the central and northern parts of the country since the start of the month and about 880,000 chickens, ducks and turkeys will be culled, officials said on Wednesday.

The biggest outbreak of the H5N8 virus, which led to the death or killing of millions of birds in an outbreak in western Europe last winter, ws at a large egg producing farm in the province of Ferrara.

The latest outbreak was confirmed on Oct. 6 and about 853,000 hens are due to be culled by Oct. 17, the IZSV zoological institute said.

Another involved 14,000 turkeys in the province of Brescia, which are due to be culled by Oct. 13.

A third involved 12,400 broiler chickens at a smaller farm in the province of Vicenza and two others were among a small number of hens, ducks, broilers and turkeys on family farms.

In those three cases, all the birds have been culled.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Alexander Smith

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