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Over 230,000 birds culled at farm after bird flu outbreak

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More than 230,000 birds have been culled at a poultry farm in Russia’s southern Krasnodar Territory following an outbreak of bird flu early September, Russia’s agriculture competition office said Monday.

A total of 18,000 birds have yet to be culled over the next two or three days, bringing the total to 248,000, the spokesman said. The lethal H5N1 virus was identified at the farm after some 500 chickens died September 4. About 22,000 birds were slaughtered the day after the infection was confirmed. In 2005 1.3 million birds were culled in Russia, in 2006 the figure stood at 1.04 million, but this year the figure had dropped to around 260,000. Krasnodar Territory is on the route taken by migrating birds in winter and is subject to a higher risk of bird flu as a result, although, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), most of the spread is through poultry and the poultry trade.

Since late 2003, according to the WHO, when the virus first hit Asia, the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed at least 191 people out of 317 known cases. No human deaths from bird flu have been recorded in Russia. (rian.ru)

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