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Bird flu outbreak in Israel kills 5,000 cranes and sparks slaughter of half a million chickens | Israel

A hen flu outbreak in northern Israel has killed at the least 5,200 migratory cranes and compelled farmers to slaughter tons of of 1000’s of chickens as authorities attempt to include what they are saying is the deadliest wildlife catastrophe in the nation’s historical past.

Uri Naveh, a senior scientist on the Israel Parks and Nature Authority, mentioned the state of affairs was not but beneath management. “Many of the birds are lifeless in the center of the water physique so it’s tough for them to be taken out,” he mentioned on Monday.

Environmental safety minister Tamar Zandberg referred to as the disaster “probably the most critical injury to wildlife in the historical past of the nation”. “The extent of the injury continues to be unclear,” she tweeted.

Yaron Michaeli, a spokesperson for the Hula Lake park, the place the crane inhabitants is principally primarily based, mentioned staff have been eradicating the carcasses as rapidly as attainable, fearing they may infect different wildlife.

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Dafna Yurista, spokesperson for the Agriculture Ministry, mentioned half a million chickens in the realm have been being slaughtered to forestall the illness from spreading.

About 500,000 cranes cross by way of Israel every year on the best way to Africa and a small quantity keep behind, Michaeli mentioned. This yr, an estimated 30,000 cranes stayed in Israel for the winter.

Michaeli mentioned it was believed the cranes have been contaminated by smaller birds that had contact with farms affected by outbreaks.

A gray crane is seen near a dead one in the Hula Valley in northern Israel on Dec. 25, 2021
Israeli officers are retrieving crane carcasses as rapidly as attainable to include the unfold of the virus. {Photograph}: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

Israeli media carried photographs of staff in white hazmat fits accumulating crane carcasses after the birds have been first discovered to be sick about 10 days in the past.

Michaeli mentioned the deaths amongst cranes appeared to have stabilised in latest days. “That is a good signal,” he mentioned. “They may be beginning to recover from this. We hope very a lot.”

Prime minister Naftali Bennett’s workplace mentioned officers from the agriculture, atmosphere and well being ministries have been monitoring the state of affairs. There was no fast details about infections amongst individuals, it mentioned.

Naveh mentioned the cleanup was going extra slowly than anticipated. “We are attempting to see if there’s another options,” he mentioned.

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