Germany butchers poultry to combat bird flu

9th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

Saalfeld, Germany (dpa) - German officials were butchering about 1,000 domesticated birds Saturday after the deadly H5N1 bird-flu virus was found in a dead goose in the village of Wickersdorf.

Saalfeld, Germany (dpa) - German officials were butchering about 1,000 domesticated birds Saturday after the deadly H5N1 bird-flu virus was found in a dead goose in the village of Wickersdorf.

The cull in nine villages was part of a quarantine ordered the previous day within a 13-kilometre radius of the influenza site.

The infection of a goose in a household bird run was only the second time H5N1 has ever shown up in German poultry. The first time was last year near the city of Leipzig and led to a cull of 22,000 farm birds.

Exasperated officials said area residents had kept hundreds of birds in defiance of by-laws, forcing house to house searches by police and firefighters. A register of poultry showed only 35 birds officially kept in and near Wickersdorf in eastern Germany.

Germany's main animal-protection society denounced the cull as unnecessary. Officials said tissue samples would be taken from all the culled birds and sent to animal-health laboratories for testing.

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza, which is fatal to humans but cannot yet be transferred between humans, has hit wild water-birds, especially grebes, in the area. Saxony state's health ministry said the virus had been found in a dead grebe at a new site, Machern.


DPA

Subject: German news

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