110,000 hens to be slaughtered after bird flu found on German farm

HAMBURG, Aug 11 (Reuters) - About 110,000 chickens are to be slaughtered after an outbreak of H5N8 bird flu on a farm in north Germany, authorities said on Thursday.

The disease was confirmed on an egg-producing farm in Langwege in the Vechta district in the northern state of Lower Saxony, the Vechta district council said.

Vechta is a major region for poultry production. A three kilometre lockdown area has been imposed around the farm plus an observation area with a ten kilometre radius, the council said. These areas contain 352 farms.

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The spread of bird flu around the globe has raised concerns among governments and the poultry industry due to its ability to ravage flocks, generate trade restrictions and the risk of human transmission.

France's farm ministry in June removed bird flu-related restrictions on poultry farming across the country, citing a halt in outbreaks after the worst-ever crisis of the highly contagious virus led to the culling of 16 million birds. read more

Risk to humans from the disease is considered low, but past outbreaks among farm birds have needed extensive slaughtering programmes to contain it.

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Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Kirsten Donovan

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