Bulgaria kills 7000 ducks after bird flu outbreak

Yellow baby ducks and one darker duck lying close together on wood chirps
Baby ducks, photo: Hodag Media via Canva

Bulgaria will kill more than 7,000 ducks on an industrial farm in the southern village of Malak Dol, the country’s food safety agency said on Saturday. Veterinary authorities confirmed that avian influenza had been detected on the farm.

At the beginning of December, Bulgaria killed more than 80,000 chickens after a bird flu outbreak at an industrial farm in the southern village of Tsalapitsa.

In February, Bulgarian authorities killed 160,000 ducks and 99,000 chickens after avian influenza was detected at two duck farms and a chicken farm.

Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, has spread throughout Europe and Asia in recent weeks. Over 43 million animals have been killed worldwide due to bird flu outbreaks in the first nine months of 2021. Except for a few wild birds, most of the killed animals are farm animals raised exclusively for the food industry. 

The number of people infected with bird flu is also rising, which has experts concerned. Experts say that as chicken, turkey, duck, and goose farms have grown immensely over the years, the virus may have evolved into one that spreads easily between people.

Animal welfare organizations and politicians have argued the animal farming industry should change to prevent the next pandemic.

“One of the biggest threats to public health is large scale animal agriculture,” animal welfare organization Four Paws said on their website. “To prevent the next pandemic, we need to change the way we treat non-human animals. Animal welfare is closely linked to animal health, which in turn is linked to human health.”

The Animal Reader is a small independent news platform with daily posts about issues affecting animals.

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