Avian infuenza reported in Germany

A low-pathogenic outbreak of avian influenza in north Germany has been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

According to German news sources, the outbreak was on an organic farm in the Schleswig-Holstein state, and 1,200 laying hens and 300 geese were culled on 20 December as a precautionary measure.

Klaus Ploeger, a Social Democrat Party administrator, told media that the virus was harmless to humans, but the birds were culled to prevent “a slight possibility of the virus becoming pathogenic in the future”.

District veterinarian Karlheinz Reisewitz said that it was likely that the infection had originated from wild geese.

According to the Kiel Department of Agriculture this virus type had already been detected in mallard ducks in the Czech Republic and wild birds in Georgia.

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