Over 65,000 hen to be culled in bird flu outbreak in Poland

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Authorities in western Poland say they have ordered the culling of at least 65,000 hen at a farm affected by bird flu that seems to have spread from the east.

Regional veterinarian Andrzej Zarnecki said a crisis team is meeting Friday in the city of Poznan to decide on containment measures while laboratory experts work to identify the virus at the hen farm.

Krzysztof Borowczyk, who has run the farm for 23 years, said on TVN24 that the order to kill the birds and destroy their carcasses was a “heavy blow”to him. The farm in the village of Topola Osiedle is located about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the border with Germany.

Authorities in eastern Poland said the H5N8 bird flu virus recently killed at least 40,000 turkeys and geese at poultry farms in a village near Poland’s borders with Ukraine and Belarus. Tens of thousands of birds are being culled there, and the area has been closed to non-residents.

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Experts suspect wild birds could be spreading the diseases and reminded people that bird flu is not harmful to humans.

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