Exterminating chickens via foam

Israel's ruthless poultry extermination campaign revealed

Mass extermination of poultry comes amid discovery of highly virulent bird-flu outbreak in northern Israel; Draws the ire of politicians and agricultural workers citing animal cruelty, grave financial damage

Ahyia Raved, Israel Mushkovitz |
Published: 12.30.21, 20:45
A recently published video shows Israel’s thorough and ruthless campaign to eliminate tens of thousands of chicks, hens and roosters suspected of contracting the bird flu.
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  • The campaign started shortly after the discovery of a bird flu outbreak in northern Israel, which has thus far killed more than 5,000 wild birds, and infected more than 5,500 chickens.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    תיעוד מהשמדת התרנגולות בצפון
    תיעוד מהשמדת התרנגולות בצפון
    Exterminating chickens via foam
    In the video, captured by activist Tal Gilboa, Agriculture Ministry workers are seen drowning poultry in foam, in order to contain another possible outbreak of the flu.
    “In the last two weeks we have witnessed a mass extermination of chickens, massive and cruel… And it seems that this is just the beginning,” wrote Gilboa in the video's caption.
    "Beyond the shocking practice of drowning in foam, do you see the iron basket used when removing the chickens from the chicken coop?”
    “This is an illegal practice. [The birds] are forced to squeeze together even before they are exterminated,” she added.
    Israel's poultry extermination campaign
    The extermination campaign also drew the ire of others around the country - including Shas MK Moshe Arbel, who demanded the Agriculture Ministry cease the mass extermination of poultry via foam due to animal cruelty - as well as of several farmers and agricultural workers.
    "Apart from the economic disaster in the extermination of the birds, it is also a mental disaster," said Yoni Yaakobi, who owns a chicken coop in northern Israel, near the Lebanese border.
    "To see your livelihood cut off, the young birds are destroyed. It's not easy to come and see an empty coop.”
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    שפעת העופות בעמק החולה
    שפעת העופות בעמק החולה
    Exterminating chickens via foam
    (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
    Another coop owner who has elected to remain anonymous echoed Yaakobi’s sentiment on the matter.
    “I am 60 years old. I worked in my coop and also in other destroyed coops. What am I to do now?... I can look for another job, but who will take me at my age,” he said.
    Agriculture Minister Oded Forer, said: "We are conducting an ongoing and complex event, which requires a lot of resources.”
    “I instructed the professional teams to continue to act by all available means and as necessary, in order to prevent the spread of virus outbreaks.”
    The Agriculture Ministry, meanwhile, stated foam is one of three legal ways to mass exterminate poultry in Israel, with the other two being gas and electrocution.
    The ministry added it is also working with the county’s veterinary services units to ensure the pathogen will not spread to localities adjacent to coops, where the risk of infection is heightened.
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