Spain to cull 7,000 ducks due to bird flu outbreak

The H5N8 bird flu virus was reported in a farm in Catalonia. Nine farms in the Catalan region are being inspected.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Duck breeders load ducks into a truck to bring them to a slaughterhouse at a poultry farm in Saint Aubin, southwestern France, February 22, 2017.

Updated Feb 24, 2017

Spain reported a case of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus in a northeastern farm in Catalonia and said it would cull 17,000 ducks, the regional government confirmed on Thursday.

The Central Veterinarian Laboratory in Algete, in the outskirts of Madrid, announced Wednesday night the outbreak on a duck farm near Girona.

On Tuesday, another H5N8 strain was reported due to a dead stork in a nearby area. Nine farms in total are currently under investigation in Catalonia as a precautionary measure.

The H5N8 strain, which is deadly for poultry but has not been found in humans, has spread across Europe and the Middle East since late last year, leading to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of poultry and the confinement of flocks indoors.

France and Hungary have been the countries hardest hit by the highly contagious H5N8 virus that has been spreading across Europe, the Middle East and Africa countries in the past three months.

France will cull 360,000 ducks as part of efforts to prevent a spread of the H5N8 bird flu virus, the country's farm ministry said.

China is also facing a new strain of bird flu virus in the country. State radio reported  H7N9 bird flu has only been detected in Guangdong province but it will be hard to prevent its spread to other areas.

TRTWorld and agencies