Bird flu prompts Israel’s mass bird cull

20-03-2006 | |

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 “its very close to 100%” 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.