Germany may cull up to 70,000 chickens over bird flu

FILE PHOTO: Free-range chicken are seen on a field outside Munich, southern Germany, August 8, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

HAMBURG: Bird flu has been found on another chicken farm in Germany and a programme to slaughter up to 70,000 poultry is being prepared, authorities said on Tuesday.

Type H5N8 bird flu was confirmed in a farm near Rostock in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, said a spokesman for the local government authority Landkreis Rostock.

About 4,500 chickens at the farm would have to be culled, but the farm has several locations and the total could reach 70,000, the spokesman said.

“To combat the outbreak of the disease and prevent it spreading further, it is necessary from a veterinary medical viewpoint to cull up to 70,000 poultry at several locations,” the spokesman said. “Preparations have started.”

A series of outbreaks of bird flu have been reported in Europe in past weeks with wild birds suspected to be spreading the disease.

Around 16,100 turkeys were slaughtered after bird flu was found on another Germany poultry farm in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, authorities said on Monday.