91,000 chickens killed after bird flu outbreak in Germany

91,000 chickens killed after bird flu outbreak in Germany

Around 91,000 chickens were killed following an outbreak of bird flu in Germany, authorities said on Tuesday. The virus was detected in Bad Bentheim.

The virus has impacted chickens, with several farms reporting high mortality rates among their animals. The affected birds showed symptoms such as severe respiratory distress and a rapid decline in health.

The region where bird flu was confirmed is known for its high density of chicken farms. German authorities enforced strict biosecurity measures in the area to contain the outbreak and prevent its spread to nearby areas. The region is close to the Dutch border, where there are also many chicken farms.

One of the measures is that chickens must be kept in barns. They are not allowed to be outside, even on free-range farms. In total, almost 1,5 million animals are affected in the restriction zones. 

Bird flu outbreaks have been recurrent in Europe. When bird flu is detected on a farm, all animals are immediately killed.

Animal rights organizations have questioned the current approach to dealing with bird flu. They argue that governments should examine the number of chickens kept in barns and their living conditions.

“Intensive indoor farming, wildlife farming and habitat destruction have been identified as major culprits for the spillover of diseases,” Wendla Beyer, policy officer at animal welfare organization Four Paws, said after bird flu was detected in dairy farms in the United States.

“The recent outbreak shows once more that factory farming is a real hotbed for pandemics and that we need to drastically reduce and rethink animal farming,” she added.

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