December 30, 2016 / 4:32 PM / in 7 months

Bulgaria to cull more poultry as bird flu outbreak spreads

2 Min Read

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria will cull more ducks and chickens in the southern Plovdiv region and has banned fishing in lakes and wetlands inhabited by wild migrating birds, the food safety agency said on Friday, as it struggles to contain a bird flu outbreak.

The virus has been found in 14 farms in Bulgaria since Dec. 16, seven of which were in duck farms in Plovdiv, the agency said. One case has been found among wild birds.

Some 3,150 ducks in the southern village of Manole in Plovdiv region were culled this month.

Several European countries and Israel have found cases of H5N8 bird flu in the past few weeks and some have ordered poultry be kept indoors to prevent the disease spreading.

France has extended restrictions to the entire country after the finding several cases of the H5N8 strain on poultry farms.

On Thursday, Slovakia reported a case of H5 bird flu on a smallholding near the capital Bratislava.

In Germany, the culling of about 77,000 turkeys, chickens and ducks is under way after H5N8 was found on farms in a major poultry production region in the northern state of Lower Saxony.

Bulgaria has introduced a nationwide ban on poultry markets and has banned the hunting of game birds.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Louise Ireland

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