Bird flu hits ninth poultry farm in Pakistan

03-05-2006 | |

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza has struck the ninth poultry farm in Pakistan as authorities struggled to contain the spread of the deadly virus at poorly maintained facilities, officials said.

The authorities culled 16,000 birds Sunday at the poultry farm in Pindi Bhattian district in the Punjab province, about 220 km south of the capital.

Commissioner of livestock and animal husbandry, Muhammad Afzal, said the chickens were killed after tests confirmed the presence of the disease at the farm.

Earlier, the deadly virus infected eight farms April 17-24, all of them on the outskirts of Islamabad.

More than 40,000 chickens have been culled in less than two weeks with about half a million eggs destroyed.

Pakistan first suspected the H5N1 strain in two farms of the North-Western Frontier Province (NWFP) on Feb 27, confirmed later by the world reference laboratory for avian influenza at Weybridge, England.