The Agricultural Ministry's Veterinarian Service begun culling all poultry in a two-mile radius of the bird flu outbreak detected in a Binyamina kindergarten.
Earlier Thursday, the ministry confirmed that the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus had infected chickens at a kindergarten petting zoo, killing 18 chickens. The kindergarten staff has been treated with preventive medications.
The culling is used as a preemptive measure to insure the outbreak is contained. The only chicken coop within the two-mile radius is one in Beit Hanania.
The Agricultural Ministry told Ynet there is no need to cull domestic birds that are kept indoors, but urged owners of birds kept outside – especially in private coops – to have their birds examined by a veterinarian.
As for pets, especially any cats that may be found around coops, the ministry said that "at this stage the culling is restricted to poultry. The chances of birds passing the virus to pets are slim."
The coops at Beit Hanania house several thousand turkeys. Once destroyed, they will be buried in a pit dug especially for that purpose.
The Agricultural Ministry further said that no poultry deaths have been reported anywhere else in Israel. An inspection of the chicken coops at Kfar Menachem, which apparently supplied the Binyamina
kindergarten with its birds, failed to detect the virus in other fowls.
The Health and Agricultural Ministries have opened a pubic hotline for information about the outbreak – 972-3-6951541. Details regarding the bird flu are available on the Health Ministry's website.
Meital Yasur-Beit Or contributed to this