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Germany confirms case of H5N8 bird flu in wild bird

A case of H5N8 bird flu has been confirmed in a wild bird in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, German authorities said on Monday.

21 January 2020, at 2:38pm

No birds on farms were involved, the federal agriculture ministry said in a statement, reported Reuters.

The health and consumer protection ministry in the state of Brandenburg added the case involved bird flu of type H5N8 found in a wild goose in the Spree-Neisse area close to the border with Poland.

A series of outbreaks of the disease, which in the past has led to major disruptions and slaughtering programmes in Europe’s poultry industry, have been reported in Europe in past weeks.

Bird flu cases have appeared in the four central European countries of Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic since the end of last year.

“In Germany this is currently an individual case with domestic birds not involved,” the federal agriculture ministry said. “The authorities responsible in Brandenburg have already reacted and have intensified the monitoring of wild birds with the focus on birds which live near water.”

The ministry called on poultry farmers to stringently adhere to bio-security measures to protect their flocks from the disease.

“The task in Germany is now to prevent the disease spreading to farm birds,” the ministry said. (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)