Bird flu: Million chickens to be culled in Kuwait

Authorities ordered the culling of 1.1 million chickens after an outbreak of the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu was confirmed in Kuwait, the health minister said Saturday. The outbreaks occurred on commercial poultry farms, but there were no infections in humans, Health Minister Massouma al-Mubarak told reporters. Previous outbreaks in Kuwait had been confined to small farms, house pens or falcons kept as pets. The total number of confirmed cases in Kuwait to date is 96, the minister said. Birds in three of the country's 16 large commercial poultry farms were infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus, and the government said it would compensate owners for their losses, the minister said. She did not give estimates of the cost.