Hundreds of thousands of chickens killed as bird flu spreads; due to lack of eggs

The Agriculture Ministry announced on Saturday that hundreds of thousands of additional chickens will be culled in northern Israel, amid the spread of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in chicken coops in Moshav Margaliot on the Lebanese border.

According to the ministry, 320,000 laying hens are scheduled to be culled near Margaliot in the coming days, in addition to the 244,000 killed in the town during the past week.

The move is expected to cause a shortage of about 14 million eggs out of the 200 million eggs consumed by Israelis every month.

The ministry also stated its concern about the possibility of people contracting the virus through cages next to homes in the moshav.

According to the ministry, farmers there failed to report in real time the increasing numbers of poultry deaths, resulting in the virus spreading rapidly.

Many of the chickens had died by the time ministry inspectors arrived. In one barn, only 70 live chickens were found out of 2000.

The farm was closed, as were the facilities that receive eggs from them.

When we talk to you about bird flu and the word “extermination” of millions of birds flies over your head, you are actually choking on the 9-minute foam,…

Written by Tal Gilboa on Wednesday, December 22, 2021

On Thursday, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said one in five bird birds living in Israel or migrating through Israel had contracted bird flu, and authorities expect it will have to remove 25 to 30 tons of carcasses.

About 100,000 cranes visit the Hula Valley in northern Israel annually, and about 40,000 stay in Israel until early March, when they join returnees from Africa to fly north to Europe and Asia to nest.

After touring the valley on Thursday, the interim director of the Parks Authority, Rhea Schorki, said inspectors were examining the entire Hula Valley for evidence of the virus, and expanding their search to include bodies of water in the Jezreel, Zyvolon and Springs Valleys. Carmel Coast.

The corpse of a crane infected with bird flu in the Hula Valley Nature Reserve in northern Israel, December 23, 2021 (Shlomit Shavit, Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

Al-Sharqi said that the largest number of casualties appears to be in the Hula Valley reserve, because the cranes are highly concentrated there. She said that feeding them regularly will continue to prevent them from moving elsewhere.

Agriculture Minister Oded Forer has described crowded chicken coops as a “time bomb” that must be moved from communities to isolated breeding complexes with strict biological safety levels.

Plans to do so were approved by the government in 2007, but were never implemented.

According to Department of Agriculture figures, 93 percent of chicken coops meet neither public health nor animal care requirements for veterinary services.

While more than half of laying hens in the European Union are now raised in cage-free cages, the figure in Israel is just 3.2%, according to Poultry Industry Council figures, and the rest are tightly packed in cages.

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