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British Authorities Work to Contain Outbreak of Bird Flu


British authorities scrambled Saturday to contain an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu after the disease struck a farm owned by a major European turkey producer.

The outbreak has already killed 2,500 turkeys on the farm, and officials say an additional 160,000 will be slaughtered to keep the disease from spreading.

Authorities established a 10-kilometer surveillance zone around the farm and banned bird shows and pigeon racing nationwide.

It is the first time that the H5N1 strain has been detected at a poultry farm in Britain. It is second case in Europe this year.

Last month, the H5N1 strain of bird flu killed thousands of farmed geese in Hungary. H5N1 is the lethal strain of the virus that can kill humans.

Bird flu has killed about 160 people worldwide since late 2003, mainly in Asia.

In a separate development, agriculture officials in Japan have confirmed another outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu at a poultry farm in southern Japan.

Saturday's announcement marks Japan's fourth H5N1 outbreak incident this year, and the third to hit poultry farms in Miyazaki prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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