December 29, 2016 / 5:03 PM / a year ago

About 13,500 turkeys culled after bird flu found on German farm

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Another 13,500 turkeys have been culled after a suspected case of bird flu was found on another farm in the major German poultry-producing region of Lower Saxony, authorities said on Thursday.

The poultry were culled on a farm at Hude, the Lower Saxony state government said. So far only the H5 strain has been identified.

Another 77,000 turkeys, chickens and ducks were culled this week after the contagious H5N8 strain was confirmed on four farms in Lower Saxony while 16,000 turkeys were culled after the H5N8 strain was found on a farm in the neighboring state of North Rhine Westfalia.

The contagious H5N8 strain has been found in over 500 wild birds in Germany in recent weeks. Outbreaks on farms have been rare after the government introduced tough sanitary rules to prevent infection by wild birds including orders to keep poultry indoors in high-risk regions.

A series of European countries and Israel have found cases of H5N8 bird flu in the past few weeks and some ordered poultry flocks to be kept indoors to prevent the disease spreading. France has widened high risk restrictions to the entire country after the detection of several cases of the H5N8 strain.

Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by Adrian Croft

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