SOFIA (Reuters) - More than 4,000 ducks were culled in Bulgaria over the past few days after bird flu was found on three farms, the Bulgarian food safety agency said on Monday.
Some 3,150 of the ducks were from a farm in the southern village of Manole, another 900 ducks were from a farm in the northwestern town of Vratsa and several dozen of birds were from the village of Novo Selo on the river Danube.
"They were killed after a virulent bird flu was discovered," Martin Radev, the agency spokesman said. "Most probably, it is H5N8 but I am still not able to confirm this because the laboratory tests are still under way."
A series of European countries and Israel have found cases of H5N8 bird flu in the past few weeks and some ordered poultry flocks be kept indoors to prevent the disease spreading.
France has extended restrictions to the entire country after the detection of several cases of the H5N8 strain on farms. A case of H5N8 bird flu was also reported on a farm in Britain on Friday and on two farms in Germany earlier on Monday.
The Bulgarian authorities have introduced tougher sanitary rules to prevent infection, including a nationwide ban on poultry markets. Hunting of game birds has also been prohibited.
Reporting by Angel Krasimirov. Editing by Jane Merriman