Bird flu has been recurring in Europe for years. It is introduced and spread by wild birds.
Cuxhaven/Litzerand (dpa) – Bird flu has appeared on two German poultry farms over the past few days, as well as on a Danish farm near the German border. On a farm in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, this killed tens of thousands of turkeys. A spokesman for the Ludwigslust-Parchim district said that a farm in the municipality of Luitsrand containing about 25,000 heads of livestock was affected. The culling of the animals began on Wednesday morning. According to the Ministry of Agriculture in Schwerin, this is a highly pathogenic influenza virus of subtype H5N1. “We fear that events will continue to gain momentum in view of the upcoming cold season,” said Agriculture Minister Till Backhaus (SPD).
A highly contagious type of bird flu also appeared on a poultry farm with about 50 animals in the state of Lower Saxony, the Cuxhaven region announced on Wednesday. Domestic and wild poultry in particular can become infected quickly. All animals on the affected farm had to be euthanized. At the end of October, authorities reported an outbreak of the disease on a poultry farm containing about 39,000 head of livestock, albeit a less contagious type of bird flu.
A spokeswoman for the Friedrich Loeffler Institute said that before these cases emerged, highly contagious bird flu had last appeared in German companies in July. “So it was kind of a summer vacation here.”
Avian influenza has appeared repeatedly in Germany for years, where it is introduced and spread by wild birds. It can cause significant economic damage: if a herd becomes infected with the highly contagious strain, all the animals there are usually killed.
Avian influenza viruses have also been discovered on a Danish pheasant farm near the German border. Veterinary and food authorities also announced on Wednesday that due to the risk of infection, all animals involved in Operation Tender, numbering around 2,700, would be euthanized. Information indicates that pheasants may have been infected by wild birds that stopped in the area during their autumn migration south. Because the surveillance area extends beyond the German border, the authorities in Schleswig-Holstein have been informed so they can take their own steps.
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