(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Additional cases of avian flu have been identified at a chicken coop in Kibbutz Magal – a Menashe Regional Council community just west of the Green Line.
At Kibbutz Magal, where coops house about 40,000 birds, Agriculture Ministry teams said that they quarantined the area and its surroundings.
Culling of the chickens began on Sunday morning, and poultry farms within 10 kilometers of this location continue to be monitored, the ministry added.
Ministry teams also checked laboratory samples from Elishama, east of Hod Hasharon, and Neveh Yamin, east of Kfar Saba, as well as from a chicken coop near Kibbutz Magal, but received negative results. Wild duck carcasses found near a wastewater reservoir in the South were also tested and found to be negative, the ministry said.
On Wednesday, ministry workers finished culling about 100,000 birds infected with avian flu at and around the Aviel turkey-fattening farm near Hadera.
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.
In addition to the cases documented thus far in Israel proper, several Palestinian farms in the West Bank have also encountered infections of the virus in their poultry. Affected birds were discovered and culled last week at the Serir poultry farm near Jenin and in Beit Amin, south of Kalkilya.
Officials from the Israeli Agriculture Ministry, as well as from the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, have been partnering with Palestinian colleagues to curb the disease’s presence at farms in the West Bank.