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Government sets aside Ft 5.8 bln for bird flu-related costs

The government is setting aside Ft 5.8 billion for costs related to bird flu, government spokesman András Batiz announced on Tuesday.

 Some Ft 3.5 billion of the money will come from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The money will be used to subsidize animal stocks. The remaining Ft 2.3 billion will come from three other ministries, and it will be set aside as reserves to cover additional expenditures by the Health, Agriculture or Interior Ministries. About Ft 200 million will be spent on marketing. Miklós Suth, Hungary's chief veterinarian, told a press conference on Tuesday that two more dead swans had tested positive for the H5 strain of the virus, and samples would be sent for confirmation to a laboratory in the UK. Batiz said that 5,620 calls had been placed to a hotline set up by the government to report suspicious bird deaths.