Agriculture Ministry culls 4,000 chickens amid bird flu outbreak
Poultry in Beit Hanania destroyed as safety measure following bird flu outbreak in nearby community. 'I don’t have the mental strength to watch – it's very difficult,' chicken coop owner says, 'we have no idea what the future holds for us; this is our livelihood'
Inspectors from the Agriculture Ministry's Veterinary Service began the process of culling some 4,000 chickens and Turkeys at Moshav Beit Hanania on Friday in an effort to contain the bird flu outbreak detected in a Binyamina kindergarten petting zoo.
The process, which is expected to be completed before Shabbat enters, will be carried out at a chicken coop belonging to the Muchersky family, the only one located within a two-mile radius of the kindergarten.
On Thursday some 200 chickens were culled in Binyamina.
The Agriculture Ministry said lab tests of samples taken from chicken coops in the area were negative, but it will go ahead with the culling as a safety measure against the spreading of the bird flu virus. The chicken coop owners will be compensated, the ministry added.
The chickens are killed by electrocution in less than a second, in accordance with local animal rights regulations. Parrots and birds will be beheaded or receive a lethal injection.
Culling chickens at Beit Hanania (Photo: Ido Erez)
Once destroyed, the culled poultry will be buried in a pit dug especially for that purpose.
"The chickens are being electrocuted; there are a lot of people outside, but I don’t have the mental strength to watch – it's very difficult," Nava Muchersky said. "We have no idea what the future holds for us; this is our livelihood."
A four-year-old girl who attended the kindergarten was admitted to the Hillel Jaffe Medical Center in Hadera Thursday with flu-like symptoms. Lab results showed that she had not contracted the bird-flu virus but was rather suffering from the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among young children.