March 10, 2009 / 5:50 PM / in 9 years

EU's first 2009 bird flu case found in Germany

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany has informed the European Commission of an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu, the EU’s first case of the lethal strain of the contagious disease in poultry this year.

The outbreak “was found in a wild duck shot during a hunt near the town of Starnberg in the German state of Bavaria,” the European Union’s executive arm said in a statement.

“However, on basis of the favorable result of a risk assessment, Germany may refrain from the establishment of a control area and a surrounding monitoring area around a positive finding. This derogation has been used taking into account that the hunt had already taken place in January,” the statement said.

The last wild-bird case of bird flu in the 27-nation bloc was found in a Canadian goose in Britain in February last year, while the last outbreak in poultry of H5N1 in the EU was detected last October in the German state of Saxony.

Reporting by Darren Ennis; editing by James Jukwey

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