Czech Republic wiped out 220,000 chickens due to bird flu outbreak

(ORDO NEWS) — Up to 220,000 chickens have been culled in the Czech Republic following an outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm, the State Veterinary Office (SVS) has said.

The H5N1 bird flu virus was detected on December 30 in the village of Brod nad Tichou in the country’s West Pilsen region, Xinhua news agency reported.

The farm houses approximately 750,000 chicks in three divided halls. Initially, about 120,000 chicks in one of the affected flocks had to be culled.

However, further tests on Monday confirmed the presence of new infections in the same room. Millions of eggs from the farm will also be disposed of.

Test results from the remaining two shops are still negative, the SAF said in a statement late Tuesday, noting that exclusion zones have been established around the farm and emergency veterinary measures have been taken.

The report also cited Gabriela Dlouha, head of the Bohemian-Moravian Poultry Association, as saying that for now, the culling should not affect the number or price of eggs on the market, as only less than 5 percent of the country’s approximately five million chickens will be culled.

However, she warned that the further spread of the virus would have greater economic consequences.

Since December 1, 2022, according to SVS, there have been nine outbreaks of bird flu in the Czech Republic.

At the beginning of last month, Czech veterinarians culled about 15,000 ducks at a farm in the South Bohemian region of the country.

In mid-December, authorities imposed a nationwide ban on outdoor poultry farming to combat “increasing outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza” in the country.

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