Germany culls almost 20,000 birds as another bird flu case is confirmed
Officials in Germany have confirmed that a positive case of bird flu has led to the culling of thousands of birds.
Germany has confirmed a case of H5N8 on a farm in Lower Saxony, a poultry farming region in North Germany.
It comes after a number of cases of bird flu were reported in Germany in recent weeks. Germany's Ministry of Agriculture said the incident is the first positive case of bird flu in the region since the current outbreak of the virus in Europe.
German officials will decide today whether the initial cull of 16,000 birds is enough to contain the virus, or whether a further cull will take place.
The virus has been detected in wild birds across Europe in recent weeks as other cases were detected in Denmark and Switzerland. The first case in Germany was detected in early November. A number of countries have restricted the importation of German poultry. The virus is spread through wild bird migration and has been around since 2014.
This particular strain of bird flu H5N8 does not affect humans and is a evolved strain of the H5N1 virus which has killed over 400 people.
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 virus has been identified in Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, according to the European Food Safety Authority.
It goes on to say that no human cases of the virus have been reported in the EU.