Deputy Agriculture Minister Dimitar Peychev said that Bulgaria is to ban the imports of live birds, eggs and poultry meat from Macedonia and Croatia after both countries reported suspected bird flu outbreaks. The first case of bird flu in Europe has been reported from farm in Balikesir province near the Aegean Sea in Western Turkey. Following the news of bird flu all farm animals and birds are being slaughtered in order to prevent the spread of the disease and possible transmission to humans. Though, wildlife and health experts maintain that indiscriminate culling of wild migratory bird populations would be ineffective in preventing the spread of avian flu, slaughtering of animals continue.
The birds fly to warmer areas in North Africa including the Nile delta for winter. If laboratory tests prove that the deaths are caused by H5N1 strains of the virus, then this will be first case of bird flu in Europe, which could send shock waves through out Europe and round the world. As world wide fear is concerned over the possible mutation of the existing strains which can create a pandemic killing million of humans.
The ban was imposed by on Tuesday, and comes after a bird flu outbreak was confirmed in Croatia as Croatia discovered the H5 flu virus in wild dead swans last week and tests are pending on whether it could be the virulent H5N1 strain that can be lethal to humans Macedonia has sent one dead chicken for tests to Britain for suspected avian influenza.
Imports from Macedonia have also been halted by the Bulgarian authorities.
Medindia on Bird Flu
Avian influenza (AI) or Bird Flu is a disease of viral etiology that ranges from a mild or even asymptomatic infection to an acute, fatal disease of chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, and other avian species, especially migratory waterfowl.