Bird flu cases soar across Europe as governments pledge further action

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By Euronews  with wires
A surge of bird flu cases across Europe has got governments on high alert to prevent a potentially devastating epidemic.
A surge of bird flu cases across Europe has got governments on high alert to prevent a potentially devastating epidemic.   -   Copyright  Charlie Neibergall/Copyright 2016 The AP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu

The Czech Republic has started culling more than 15,000 ducks from a farm in the country's south due to an outbreak of bird flu, local media reported on Monday.

It comes as Europe battles a rapid surge of cases across countries. France has raised its bird flu risk level to "high" from "moderate", forcing poultry farms to keep birds indoors across the country.

France has detected a rise in bird flu outbreaks in the past weeks after experiencing its worst-ever bird flu crisis between November and May, with more than 19 million animals culled to stem a severe strain.

In England, authorities have ordered all poultry and other captive birds to be kept indoors after bird flu was detected in dozens of farms across the country, as well as in wild birds.

The UK is also facing its worst-ever outbreak of avian influenza, with more than 200 cases confirmed since October last year, culling millions of birds.

The Berlin Zoo last month shut its doors to visitors after one of its aquatic birds tested positive for bird flu. 

A routine check on a hamerkop - a medium-sized wading bird - found that it tested positive for the disease.

"The primary goal is to prevent the spread of avian flu,” Berlin's climate ministry said.

Zoos in other German cities, including Greifswald, Karlsruhe, Rostock, and Heidelberg, have also recently been hit with cases of avian flu.

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