Several countries in Europe and Asia have begun culling poultry after multiple outbreaks of bird flu, primarily the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain, according to Reuters. Japan, India, South Korea, Finland, France, Holland, Germany, and Romania have all reported outbreaks of avian flu.
South Korea will cull 3 percent of its total poultry population to curb an outbreak of bird flu that has hit a number of farms across the nation, its agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.
Since a severe strain of bird flu known as H5N6 cropped up on Nov. 18, Asia’s fourth-largest economy has stepped up its quarantine measures to contain the virus, including issuing a 48-hour nationwide standstill order for this last weekend.
Japan has started culling more than 300,000 chickens and ducks after the discovery of a highly contagious form of bird flu on farms in the north of the country, local officials said.
The bird flu outbreaks are the first in nearly two years in Japan. In Niigata prefecture north of Tokyo, authorities on Tuesday started culling about 310,000 chickens at a farm in the village of Sekikawa after 40 birds were found dead from H5 bird flu. Further north in the prefecture of Aomori, about 16,500 ducks were being culled in the city of the same name after some tested positive for bird flu.
India has reported an outbreak of a highly contagious bird flu virus in the southwestern state of Karnataka, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Friday, citing a report from the Indian agriculture ministry.
The H5N8 virus was confirmed among birds in the village of Itagi, and all 1,593 of the birds at risk from the disease died or were culled.
A dead wild swan found in southeastern Romania earlier this month was found to be infected with H5N8 bird flu that has hit several countries in Europe, the country’s veterinary and food safety agency (ANSVSA) said on Monday.
Officials have imposed two areas of veterinary sanitary restrictions around the area, a 3-km protection area and a 10-km monitoring area, neither of which include commercial poultry farms.
The first confirmed case of H5N8 bird flu has been detected in Finland amid a recent outbreak of the disease in Europe, the Finnish Food Safety authority said on Friday.
The highly pathogenic H5N8 virus was found in wild birds in the Aland islands in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden, the office said in a statement.
Some 190,000 ducks were destroyed on Saturday at six farms in the Netherlands following an avian flu outbreak, the country’s first cull of an epidemic sweeping northern Europe.
Dutch authorities did not say what strain of the virus had been discovered at a poultry farm in the village Biddinghuizen, some 70 km (43 miles) east of Amsterdam.
A severe strain of H5N8 bird flu was detected in wild ducks in on Nov 26 in the commune of Marck (Pas-de-Calais), Northern France.
France, which has the largest poultry flock in the EU, is still recovering from a severe bird flu epidemic in southwestern France earlier this year which lead to a total halting of duck and geese output in the region and import restrictions from trading partners.
A case of high risk H5N8 bird flu has been confirmed in the German state of Lower Saxony and about 16,000 turkeys on the farm will now be culled, authorities said on Thursday.
The case was confirmed in Cloppenburg in north Germany and is the first farm-based case in Lower Saxony, one of Europe’s largest poultry production regions, the state’s agriculture ministry said.