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PA to slaughter birds diagnosed with avian flu

March 9, 2011 10:11 A.M. (Updated: March 10, 2011 3:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian officials approved on Tuesday a decision to slaughter 15,000 poultry birds after an Avian Flu diagnosis in an Israeli settlement near Bethlehem.

Israeli inspectors notified Palestinian officials that birds in a Bethlehem-area settlement had been diagnosed with bird flu, sparking a series of inspections of local farms and studies of possible transmission patterns, acting Palestinian Minister of Agriculture Ismail Daiq told Ma'an.

Samples were collected from all local farms in a three kilometer radius from the epidemic site, Daiq added, but did not say definitively whether a case of the flu had been diagnosed in Palestinian farms.

The controlled bird slaughter was approved by a committee under the ministries of health and agriculture, and is set to take place Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

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