Czech Republic culls 220,000 chickens due to bird flu outbreak

by IANS |

Prague, Jan 4 (IANS) Up to 220,000 chickens were culled in the Czech Republic following a bird flu outbreak at a poultry farm, the State Veterinary Administration (SVS) said.

The avian influenza H5N1 virus was discovered in the village of Brod nad Tichou in the country's Western Plzen region on December 30, reports Xinhua news agency.

The farm keeps around 750,000 chickens in three divided halls.

Originally about 120,000 chickens in one of the affected halls were to be culled.

However, further tests conducted on Monday confirmed more infections in the same hall.

Millions of eggs from the farm will also be disposed of.

The results of tests taken in the remaining two halls are so far negative, the SVS said in a statement late Tuesday, noting that restricted zones have been established around the farm and emergency veterinary measures have been taken.

This outbreak is the country's "largest", according to the Czech News Agency.

The report also cited Gabriela Dlouha, head of the Czech-Moravian Poultry Union, as saying that the culling should not affect the quantity or the price of eggs on the market for the time being, as only less than 5 per cent of the about five million hens in the country will be culled.

However, she warned that the further spread of the virus would have greater economic impacts.

The Czech Republic has reported nine bird flu outbreaks since December 1, 2022, according to the SVS.

Earlier last month, Czech veterinarians culled around 15,000 ducks at a farm in the country's South Bohemian region.

In mid-December, the authorities imposed a nationwide ban on outdoor poultry farming to tackle "increasing outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu" in the country.

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