Bird flu prompts Israel's mass bird cull
Israel began a mass cull of hundreds of thousands of
turkeys and chickens, over the weekend, despite having received no formal
confirmation that the deadly bird flu virus had arrived in the country.
Wednesday last week the bird flu alert was sounded
after thousands of turkeys began dying in southern and central Israel. By late
Thursday health officials announced that bird flu had apparently hit, prompting
the cull over the weekend.
According to Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman Dafna Varisca â€œits very close
to 100%â€ sure that the virus has spread to Israel.
Varisca estimates that 400,000 to 500,000 turkeys and chickens will be
killed by drinking poisoned water.
The four infected farming communities have been quarantined, banning people
from entering a 3km radius. Fowl are also being tested within a 10km radius from
the original site.
Dr Shimon Perk, head of the Agriculture Ministry's poultry disease unit,
said he expected all the flocks in the quarantined areas to be destroyed within
the next few days.
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