50,000 chickens to be culled at bird flu-hit farm

by IANS |

Copenhagen, Jan 3 (IANS) Following a fresh bird flu outbreak at a farm in west Denmark, 50,000 chickens will have to be culled, the country's Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries said in a statement.

"The flock is infected with the deadly and highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus. As a result, we will cull the entire herd of 50,000 chickens in the coming days, both to alleviate the birds' suffering and to prevent the spread of infection," Lotte Brink, head of section at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA), said.

The presence of the virus was first observed on New Year's Eve, when several dead chickens were found at a farm near the town of Orum in Hedensted Municipality, about 177 km west of capital Copenhagen, reports Xinhua news agency.

All the infected chickens are expected to be killed and removed by the DVFA and the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), followed by a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the entire farm.

On Monday, the DVFA also started to put in place a 10-km restricted zone around the farm, making it illegal to remove eggs or poultry without a permit.

According to the DVFA, the restrictions, which will affect more than 450,000 birds in the wider area, will be lifted at the earliest 30 days after the last infected birds are culled and the property is disinfected.

This is the fourth and largest bird flu outbreak to occur in Denmark since October 2022, according to the Ministry.

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