Symptoms of a highly pathogenic bird flu virus were discovered Saturday at a turkey farm near Kibbutz Magal in the Sharon Region.
The Agriculture Ministry began destroying 40,000 of the birds at the farm in response. Meanwhile, concerns arose that other farms in the area – in the towns of Elishema and Neve Yamin – had been affected by the disease.
Inspectors from the ministry arrived at the farm in Magel following the initial suspicion and took samples for examination in a laboratory.
The site was closed off after a positive result came back towards the evening.
The discovery of the virus came less than a week after it emerged at another Israeli turkey farm.
The first case in Israel in nearly three years was found in a village in the north on Monday, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said.
The deadly H5N1 virus caused the death of 15,000 birds at a turkey fattening farm in Avi’el, south of Haifa, the OIE reported on its website, citing data submitted by Israel’s ministry of agriculture.
More than 140,000 birds were to be culled due to that outbreak, including 61,000 turkeys at a farm nearby where no clinical signs had been seen, the ministry said.
“The culling of all the flocks is ongoing. Backyard birds in the village will also be culled,” it said.
High pathogenic H5N1 bird flu first infected humans in 1997 in Hong Kong. It has since spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and has become entrenched in poultry in some countries, causing millions of poultry infections and several hundred human deaths.
Hundreds evacuate homes in Northern district after storms; some 100,000 Gazans homeless since summer conflict
A United Nations agency declared a state of “emergency” in Gaza City on Thursday, after two days of heavy rains and flooding in the Palestinian enclave.
“Hundreds of residents in the flooded areas around Sheikh Radwan storm water lagoon have evacuated their homes,” the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said, referring to a northern district.
Some 100,000 Palestinians throughout Gaza remain homeless three months after a ceasefire ended a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas-led fighters, with reconstruction yet to begin in earnest.
UNRWA said it was supplying “emergency fuel to municipalities, water, sanitation and health facilities.”
Robert Turner, its director of operations in Gaza, said the agency was “very concerned about such severe storms this early in the season and on the back of unprecedented damage and destruction” from the war.
Thousands of Gazans were displaced last December after torrential rain hit the coastal territory, UNRWA said.
“Such devastation exacerbates the already poor humanitarian situation for refugees and non-refugees in Gaza, which is dealing with the aftermath of a recent conflict and an acute fuel and energy crisis,” it said.
Little construction materials have entered Gaza following a UN-brokered deal under which Israel eased an eight-year blockade of Gaza.
According to a foreign diplomatic source, the mechanism for delivering materials has “taken longer than anticipated” to launch.