2nd Bird Flu Case Detected in Israel within Days3 min read
On Monday, bird flu was discovered in central Israel at a turkey farm, which is the second case of the disease to have been found in the country in eight days.
Moshav Beit Herut has seven coops and the flu was identified in one of them. This resulted in a quarantine being imposed on all poultry in a radius of 10-kilometer.
It was last Tuesday that the season’s first outbreak of the disease had been identified in the Beit Shean Valley in northern Israel.
The flu had been discovered in turkeys in Kibbutz Shluhot. H5N1 is the strain that has been identified in both the cases.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of turkeys and chickens had to be culled because of the same strain and about 7,000 wild cranes had died in the north of Israel at the Hula Lake Park.
The only body that has the authorization of feeding wild creatures is the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
Tens of thousands of birds arrive every year and in order to keep them away from fishponds and farmers’ fields, it has permitted the feeding of cranes and pelicans at Hula Lake Park.
However, the problem is that it results in the birds crowing, which may cause the flu to spread more quickly.
The northern farmers have also made the same request this year i.e. to feed the birds. At the end of migration season last year, 500 pelicans that had arrived had been killed by the disease.
The INPA put a halt to the feeding of the pelicans last month in the north and since most of the commercial fishponds have shut down, the birds have to search for their food.
But, it did ensure that a number of water bodies in central Israel’s Sharon area had fish. This was not only because of the importance of the fish breeding industry.
It was also because the birds will only enter the Negev Desert when they are full. By this time of the year, most the pelicans already reach Africa after flying through Israel, with only some remaining in the Sharon region.
Nevertheless, the country still has a large number of cranes and the INPA is unsure of what to do with them.
A spokeswoman for INPA said that they are concerned that feeding the birds could result in the events of last year repeating themselves, if the cranes are infected with bird flu this year as well.
She said that they were in contact with farmers in the Hula Valley and were trying to come up with steps for dealing with bird flu.
The manager of the Hula Lake Reserve, Inbar Shlomit Rubin, said that they did not know if there was a link between bird flu infection and feeding the cranes.
She said that last year had seen about 30,000 cranes get infected with the H5N1 strain, but most had made a recovery because they did not have to find food and had been fed.