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Austria reports avian influenza outbreak

The outbreak occurred on a small farm

25 November 2021, at 1:19pm

Austria discovered a case of avian influenza on a small chicken farm near Vienna airport. All poultry farms with more than 350 birds must keep them indoors, said the public health agency AGES.

The farm is in the town of Fischamend, east of Vienna and near the borders with Slovakia and Hungary, both of which have reported outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry in the past week, reported Reuters.

"The affected farm's chickens died or were slaughtered under the authorities' supervision," AGES said in a statement. "The farm was closed."

Avian influenza was last detected in Austria early this year, on another small farm, AGES said. This particular case was confirmed on Wednesday.

It said the virus was being spread across Europe by migratory birds and that local wild birds such as ducks and geese usually also play a role.

The Health Ministry plans to issue a decree today ordering poultry farms of more than 350 birds in "risk areas" to keep them inside, AGES said.

It did not elaborate on where the risk areas might be but said all contact between farm birds and wild birds should be avoided and farms should implement protective measures such as only feeding their birds in areas with a roof.