Israel reports H5N8 bird flu at farm: OIE

File image of poultry is seen in a cage in the Israeli village of Aviel January 3, 2008. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen

PARIS (Reuters) - Israel has reported an outbreak of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus on a farm, a case likely due to contact with wild birds migrating from Europe, international animal health body OIE said on Monday.

The outbreak occurred in Hefzi-Bah in the northern district of Hazafon and killed 1,500 birds out of 34,500 on the farm, the OIE said, citing information from the Israeli authorities.

“Israel is on the migration route of wild birds coming from Europe to Africa. The migration is ongoing and this virus strain probably arrived from Europe with migrating birds,” the OIE said.

Several European countries have reported cases of H5N8 strain of bird flu and some have ordered that poultry flocks be kept indoors to avoid the disease spreading.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz; editing by John Irish