Bird flu: More than 0.5 m. birds culled on Russian farm after outbreak

Authorities have culled more than half a million domestic birds on a farm in southern Russia hit by the H5N1 strain of bird flu, officials said Tuesday. More than 600,000 chickens on the Gulyai-Borisovskaya farm in the Rostov-on-Don region have been destroyed to prevent the virus from spreading, said Oleg Ugnivenko, a spokesman for the regional branch of Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry. The virus also sickened birds in the neighboring Tselinsky district, and authorities have taken steps to stop it from spreading, Ugnivenko said. In September, authorities reported an H5N1 outbreak at a poultry farm in the neighboring Krasnodar region, and early in the year the strain was confirmed in several other regions across Russia.