New avian flu case found in Harju County

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Hen at a poultry farm (photo is illustrative). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A new case of avian flu has been detected in Estonia, the Agricultural and Food Board (Põllumajandus- ja Toiduamet) says. The new case was found in Harju County, and comes after stricter regulations on poultry farming were installed earlier this month.

The virus, which presents no danger to human beings, was detected in a bird carcass a farmer had sent to the Agricultural and Food Board for lab analysis, BNS reports. All remaining birds, approximately 20, kept on the poultry farm, in Illurma, Harju County, are to be destroyed. 

The board imposed a ban on keeping poultry livestock outdoors earlier this month, following an outbreak of avian flu at a farm in Lääne-Viru County, whole several other cases have been found in northern Estonia of late, Hele-Mai Sammel, the board's deputy director, says.

Sammel added that the high rate of mortality in waterfowl in particular has been recorded; the virus can be more easily spread from wild birds to domestic ones if the latter are kept in outdoor locations.

The board is to fully disinfect and clean the Illurma premises, run by A.K.S.S Grupp OÜ, while the farm is eligible for compensation.

The board is monitoring the 21 registered bird livestock businesses within a 10-km radius of Illurma, BNS reports, and notifying them individually of the restrictions.

Avian flu symptoms including swelling, a loss of appetite, drowsiness and a drop in egg production. While the virus is not a danger to humans, the stock at the Telo Talu farm was reportedly destroyed.

Outbreaks have been found in Estonia in the past, for instance in 2017.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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