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Czech Authorities Kill 70,000 Birds at H5N1 Farms

Around 70,000 birds have been killed at two Czech poultry farms where the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which is potentially fatal to humans, was confirmed this week, veterinary authorities said Friday .

Czech authorities have also decided to kill a further 70,000 birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, on three nearby farms even though bird flu has not been detected there, veterinary service spokesman Josef Duben.

"Around 70,000 have been killed," at two farms near the village of Norin in the centre of the country where the virus was confirmed on Wednesday, he told AFP.

The two farms are within an exclusion zone thrown up after the first cases of H5N1 were detected in domestic Czech poultry last month.

"We are doing this preventively. It is a decision we have taken ourselves in discussion with European authorities," Duben said, adding that compensation for the latest cull is likely to be around 30 million koruna (1.05 million euros, 1.46 million dollars).

He said decontamination of the poultry farms will continue over the weekend.

Since the initial Czech outbreak in June, other cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu have been declared in France and Germany.


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