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    All poultry to be culled at farm after bird flu outbreak

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    KRASNODAR, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - About 250,000 birds are to be culled at a poultry farm in south Russia's Krasnodar Territory following an outbreak of bird flu earlier this month, Russia's agriculture watchdog said Wednesday.

    A total of 170,600 birds have been slaughtered at the Lebyazh-Chepiginskoye farm and the remaining 77,500 are due to be culled in the near future, Alexander Skorikov, the head of the animal health department at Russia's agriculture watchdog said.

    September 5 about 22,000 birds were culled at the farm after a regional laboratory identified the lethal H5N1 virus in dead birds at the farm.

    In 2005 1.3 million birds were culled in Russia, in 2006 the figure stood at 1.04 million, but this year the figure had dropped to around 260,000.

    Krasnodar Territory is on the route taken by migrating birds in winter and is subject to a higher risk of bird flu as a result, although, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), most of the spread is through poultry and the poultry trade.

    Since late 2003, according to the World Health Organization, when the virus first hit Asia, the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed at least 191 people out of 317 known cases.

    No human deaths from bird flu have been recorded in Russia.

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