The deadly strain of bird flu has probably been present in Germany for several months according to a state minister from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where tests on several swans have revealed they died of the virus. Germany became the fourth EU state to confirm the presence of the deadly H5N1 strain earlier this week. The state’s Agriculture minister Till Backhaus says the swans affected were not migratory birds and tended to stick to one area.
“This is why I assume that the virus must have been introduced in the autumn,” he added. In Brussels, EU veterinary experts have been meeting to discuss ways of curbing the spread of bird flu in Europe. Adding to the growing list, Slovenia has confirmed a swan found dead earlier this month has died of the lethal strain of the virus.