After discovering avian flu in a Western Galilee facility containing 14,000 turkeys on Monday, the Agriculture Ministry said its workers are culling infected birds and quarantining those in surrounding areas. The affected coop is located in the Betzet Moshav, southeast of Rosh Hanikra and northeast of Nahariya. Coops within a 10-kilometer radius are being monitored, the ministry said.
As a result of the ongoing wild bird migrating season, the Agriculture Ministry's Veterinary Services warned farmers to keep their poultry in covered areas, to reduce the risk of disease spread.
Avian flu, or H5N1, is highly contagious among poultry. The virus is zoonotic, meaning it could spread to humans. The first documented case in humans occurred in 1997, and it mainly circulates in Southeast Asia and northeast Africa. H5N1 cases first appeared in Israeli poultry in March 2006.
After a lull in disease occurrence since 2012, this year, commercial poultry flocks in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority experienced an outbreak of the disease in January and early February, though scattered cases were identified during March and April in the West Bank and Gaza.
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