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    Bulgaria braces itself for bird flu

    Hürriyet Haber
    10.01.2006 - 11:58 | Son Güncelleme: 10.01.2006 - 11:58

    Bulgaria's Minister of Agriculture Nihat Kabi said the country was bracing itself for the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in light of the recent cases in Turkey.

    Kabil told private television BTV on Monday, "We are ready to identify, isolate and destroy bird flu centres if it emerges, " adding that, "of 31 cases in Romania, the latest two were from an area close to the northeast Bulgarian town of Silistra."

    Kabil also stated that veterinary services were on high alert following the flight of 5,000-6,000 white-headed geese from the Danube delta to two large Bulgarian lakes near the Romanian border. "Their number will eventually grow to 250,000. An eventual bird flu outbreak may happen around these areas," he told journalists following a meeting of a bird flu crisis panel.

    Bulgaria has banned poultry imports from its neighbours, forbidden the hunting of wild birds, told farmers to keep domestic fowl indoors and is conducting regular surveillance in wetland areas on the migratory bird population.

    Strict controls of cars passing from Turkey and disinfecting of the vehicles is also happening on the Turkish border.

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