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6,000 Turkeys Slaughtered at Czech Bird Flu Farm

Six thousand turkeys at a Czech farm where the potentially lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu was confirmed this week have been slaughtered, officials said on Friday.

"All the turkeys on the farm have been killed and the process is underway for the smaller flocks in the area, around 1,000 birds in all," Czech veterinary services spokesman Zbynek Semerad told AFP.

"That should be completed today (Friday)," he added.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu was confirmed on Thursday at the Tisova farm, in the centre of the country, the first time it has been detected in Czech domestic poultry.

Previous cases of bird flu in the Czech Republic have only affected wild swans.

Czech authorities have imposed a security cordon around the affected farm where disinfection work was continuing on Friday with the help of the army and emergency services.

While Czech authorities remain optimistic that the outbreak will not hit poultry exports, Russia announced Thursday that steps to ban Czech birds, meat, eggs and equipment connected to the poultry industry would be taken within "two to three days".

Czech Agriculture Minister Petr Gandalovic reacted to the threatened Russian ban during a visit to Tisova on Friday.

"It is not possible that international trade is stopped," he said, adding that Prague would seek bilateral negotiations with Moscow with the EU also acting as an intermediary.


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