Free range poultry banned in Germany over bird flu fears
20 October 2005, HANOVER/BERLIN - As avian influenza spreads towards Germany, Germany's Agriculture and Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin Thursday announced a ban on free range poultry farming, ordering all poultry farmers to keep their birds indoors till December 15 for fear they will be infected with bird flu by wild birds.
20 October 2005
HANOVER/BERLIN - As avian influenza spreads towards Germany, Germany's Agriculture and Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin Thursday announced a ban on free range poultry farming, ordering all poultry farmers to keep their birds indoors till December 15 for fear they will be infected with bird flu by wild birds.
"As of today, we are introducing an emergency law to keep as many birds as possible locked in stalls. This decree applies to every German state," Trittin said.
Berlin reacted after the H5N1 virus was found in birds in an area south of Moscow.
Meanwhile, vets conducted checks at a major national poultry show that is to open Saturday in the city of Hanover.
A spokesman, Gert Hahne, said on Thursday that the Lower Saxony state agriculture ministry did not believe there was any justification for cancelling the show, where breeders are to seek prizes for 17,000 chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys.
Hahne said all the participants at the show in Hanover, northern Germany were approved expert breeders and the pedigree birds would be indoors the whole time at the Hanover Fairgrounds.
He said birds must be kept indoors because it was a known fact that migratory birds from the European part of Russia flew over Germany as they made their way south for the winter.
At the fairgrounds Thursday, breeders were settling their birds ready to show to judges on Friday.
Gabriele Doil, a government vet, went from pen to pen, checking the pens. She said she and the other vet had ordered several into quarantine after discovering they had respiratory diseases, but the two women always found a few like that at any poultry show.
"We check like this every year. There's nothing new about it," she said.
At two Berlin zoos, keepers were meanwhile rounding up their exotic birds to put them in coops for the duration of the ban.
Earlier on Thursday, Thai authorities confirmed a new human fatality from avian influenza, the first death in more than a year in the country from the disease.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told a press conference that laboratory tests results showed H5N1 virus caused the death of a man in western Kanchanaburi province Wednesday.
Initial diagnoses had ruled out the virus as causing the symptoms of Bang-on Benpad, 48, but subsequent testing confirmed it, said Thawat Suntrajarn, director general of the Department of Disease control.
The latest case was the 13th fatality from bird flu in Thailand since the disease first appeared in 2003. The last previous human death was recorded in October 2004.
Copyright DPA with Expatica
Subject: German news