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The start of the annual bird migration is increasing the risk of avian flu, Lithuanian specialists have warned, advising farmers against keeping their poultry outdoors.
Start of bird migration boosts flu threat – specialists
© AFP/Scanpix

Veterinarians expect to avoid outbreaks of the disease in the commercial sector this year after succeeding last year.

"The bird flu is gradually spreading in the region today. On Friday, a case was confirmed at a poultry farm in Sweden – this is the closest case to Lithuania," Marius Masiulis, the head of the Emergency Operations Division of the Lithuanian State Food and Veterinary Service, told BNS.

In his words, the prolonged winter is for now halting bird migration, therefore, the disease is approaching Lithuania at a slower pace.

Masiulis said the service was notifying bird keepers about flu risks, scrutinizing all suspicious bird deaths in wildlife. Furthermore, poultry cannot be kept outdoors at this time of the year.

In 2017, Lithuanian specialists for the first time in the country's history confirmed a case of bird flu that does not threaten human lives – a swan died of the disease. A total of five cases of avian influenza were established over the year, all of them in wildlife.

BNS
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