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Bird flu shock sees Algarve in poultry lockdown

The Algarve is once again in the grip of a total ban on the sale and movement of poultry due to “a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu” detected in a grey heron in Loulé earlier this week.

The ban – affecting the release of pigeons and “hunting with birds as bait” – has been enforced to avoid contact between poultry and prevent potential outbreaks of the “H5N8 strain of avian influenza”, said the region’s veterinarian authority (DGAV).

Though the virus is easily transmitted between birds, no case has this far been detected in humans, DGAV added.

The situation has been reported to Portugal’s health board (DGS) and several other environmental authorities, as well as the World Organisation for Animal Health.

DGAV adds that it will implement new measures if there are “any signs of the virus spreading”.

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