Bird flu drill to be held next week

As part of a series of actions to increase preparedness for bird flu, the Agriculture Ministry will hold exercises on Monday and Tuesday as to how to cope with the disease should it emerge in the country's northern poultry farms. The North contains many densely packed farms of egg-laying hens, fattened livestock, turkeys and reproducing animals, the ministry said.
Should an outbreak of bird flu occur in one of the chicken coops, the disease could easily spread to farms nearby.
The poultry industry represents 17 percent of Israeli agriculture, and about 65% of the battery hens and 17% of the fattened poultry livestock are located in the North. About 2 billion eggs and 100,000 tons of chicken for food from the region is annually marketed to the Israeli public, the ministry said. The last bird flu outbreak in Israel occurred in March 2012, and the disease was eliminated efficiently, the ministry added.