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Bulgaria and Italy battle bird flu

Four outbreaks of bird flu have been reported across Bulgaria, according to the country’s Food Safety Agency.

The cases – the first of which was reported in mid-October - have been found in the regions of Dobrich, Sliven, Haskovo and Yambol leading to the culling of almost 90,000 birds.

The cull includes nearly 8,000 ducks that were slaughtered following the most recent outbreak in the southern village of Zimnitsa in Yambol, where susceptible birds at a neighbouring farm were also culled as a preventative measure.

The Agency has implemented a number of restrictive measures in the areas affected, designed to prevent the spread of the disease. These include bans on selling birds at markets and regular clinical examination of samples.

The cases have led to Saudi Arabia announcing a temporary ban on imports of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from the region of Dobrich in the Balkan country.

Meanwhile, Italy announced this week three further H5 virus cases. Farms affected have included a fattening 19,000 bird turkey farm in Brescia province, a 37,000 head laying hen unit and a 30,000 free-range unit – again in Brescia province.

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