Israel detects bird flu outbreak at northern petting zoo

JERUSALEM, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The highly pathogenic avian influenza, also known as bird flu, was detected in northern Israel, the state's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said in a statement on Wednesday.

The viral disease was discovered in a petting zoo in the village of Sde Yaakov in the Jezreel Valley, and about 250 birds, including peacocks, ducks, pigeons, and ornamental chickens, were infected.

This is the first outbreak of bird flu in Israel since early 2023 after 11 outbreaks were reported in coops throughout the country between late November 2022 and early January 2023, according to the ministry.

Following the latest detection of the subtype H5N1, the ministry quarantined all chicken coops within 10 kilometers of the infected petting zoo and called on ornamental bird breeders and coop owners to keep the animals inside buildings to reduce infection risk.

The ministry also called on the public to buy only packed and labeled eggs at regulated sales places and consume poultry and eggs only after they have been fully cooked, baked, or fried.

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