More than 130,000 female chickens killed after bird flu outbreak in Spain

Authorities killed more than 130,000 female chickens after bird flu was detected at an intensive animal farming factory just outside the village of Iscar in the province of Valladolid, Spanish officials said on Friday.

“We managed to document the removal of thousands and thousands of dead chickens,” environmental organization Greenpeace Spain said on Twitter.

“The industry doesn’t want you to see these images. Here you can see how yesterday they were removing the live chickens and slaughtering them directly in the transport container,” Greenpeace said.

The videos Greenpeace made showed chicken bodies dumped into an open-topped truck and taken to a place to be burnt. “We want to send a clear message to political leaders: factory farming is destroying the planet and our health,” Greenpeace added.

According to Greenpeace, bird flu outbreaks in industrial animal factories continue to increase. “There, the conditions are ideal for the proliferation of these viruses,” it said.

“Much is said that this virus has reached livestock farms through wild birds, but little is said that large farms are a source of infection for these birds,” Greenpeace added.

Dutch virologist Thijs Kuiken said earlier that the highly pathogenic, sickening form of bird flu (H5N1), which is rapidly spreading through Europe, emerged due to intensive bird farming.

“Normally, wild birds only carry the low-pathogenic variant. In intensive poultry farming, this mild flu mutated into a serious variant,” Kuiken said. “We have to realize that the intensive way of raising animals, with a huge number of animals huddled together in one spot, is no longer sustainable for many reasons.”

Foxes, otters, seals and humans have also been infected with bird flu in Europe. In January, England reported its first human case of bird flu.

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