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Hungary deals with Bird Flu and Swine Fever

29 January 2007

HUNGARY - The Agricultural Ministry last Wednesday confirmed that the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus has once more been discovered in Hungary, the first time the disease has been detected in the European Union since August 2006.

The virus broke out on a goose farm in Csongrád County, southeast Hungary, earlier in the week. Around 40 birds fell sick or died and samples from the deceased animals were brought to Budapest for testing.

“The laboratory has detected the highly-pathogenic H5 virus, and according to tests so far it looks like the N1 strain,” the ministry said in statement. Samples have been sent to the EU’s official laboratory in Weybridge, England, for further tests and the EU has been officially informed of the situation.

All of the 3,300 geese on the farm have been culled since the new outbreak was discovered and a 3km protective zone – with police roadblocks checking cars – and a 10km surveillance zone have been established around the farm.

The ministry said that the measures brought into place so far were satisfactory, and that further restrictions or culls would not be necessary. The European Commission said it was also satisfied by the measures and that there was no “immediate threat” to Hungarian poultry or exports.

However, neighbouring Croatia and Serbia appeared not to be calmed by the preventative measures, and last Wednesday they froze all poultry imports from Hungary as a precautionary measure. The poultry industry suffered a serious drop in sales during the last bird flu scare, and a further prolonged outbreak could cause more damage.

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Source: The Budapest Times





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