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Israel detects over 1mn infected chickens, turkeys since bird flu outbreak

 
Tel Aviv, Jan 7 (IANS) The total number of chickens and turkeys detected with the pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza during the current spread of the virus in Israel has surpassed 1 million, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

During the virus outbreak, 17,000 infected ducks for fattening were also detected and more than 8,000 infected wild cranes died in the northeastern Hula Lake area, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement released on Thursday as saying.

These bird flu cases have been detected since mid-November last year in northern and southern Israel, especially in the last three weeks.

Following the detections, it is necessary to kill all infected chickens, turkeys and ducks, according to the Ministry.

This has led to a shortage of eggs in the country, and in response, the Ministry opened the market to the duty-free import of tens of millions of eggs.

"This time, the bird flu wave is different from anything we have seen in recent years. Our teams are handling all cases," said Agriculture Minister Oded Forer.

Given the spread of the bird flu, Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg on Monday signed an ordinance that bans all hunting in the country until the end of the hunting season on January 31.

--IANS
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