HEALTH

Iran culls 25 mln heads of poultry amid bird flu fears

40 percent of nation's poultry is slaughtered amid rising cases of H5N1, according to local press reports

Anadolu Agency

Iranian officials culled 25 million heads of poultry following the recent appearance of fresh bird flu cases, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported Monday.

Speaking to ILNA, Nasir Nebipur, head of the Tehran Chicken and Egg Association, said a whopping 40 percent of the nation’s poultry had been slaughtered due to bird flu fears.

Nebipur went on to point out that the massive cull had led to a dramatic decrease in egg production, leading in turn to skyrocketing egg prices.

In order to meet the public demand for eggs, Iran is now importing 50 trucks of eggs from Turkey each week, the news agency reported.

Also known as H5N1, the bird flu -- which has caused 454 deaths worldwide since 2003 -- can be transmitted to local poultry stocks through migratory birds, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Humans can reportedly become infected by the virus by eating infected poultry.

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