A massive operation is underway to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese in France against bird flu. Twenty countries have imposed partial or total embargoes on French poultry, after the country reported the first outbreak on an EU farm.
The virus continues to spread among birds at unprecedented speed – Bosnia and Georgia are among the countries reporting new cases of the virulent H5N1 strain in wild birds.
With Spring fast approaching, it is feared sick migratory birds will spread the disease even further. In Switzerland, authorities are waiting for results from a British laboratory on a suspected case of the deadly strain. Results from the same lab confirmed Bosnia’s first case yesterday, prompting culling of wild swans and nearby domestic fowl.
In Russia, the crisis has prompted calls from President Vladimir Putin to set up a national think tank on the problem. While individual countries carry out their own strategies for tackling bird flu, the World Health Organisation says the problem has to be approached on a global level. Just one inefficient country, it says, could put the rest of the world in danger.