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  Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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Veterinary officials in Russia's Far East Monday said wild birds would be shot and tested for the H5N1 flu virus
Veterinary officials in Russia's Far East Monday said wild birds would be shot and tested for the H5N1 flu virus. Five crows and five seagulls will be shot every day April 3-17 near residential areas in nine southern and central districts of Sakhalin, as well as in the Southern Kuril islands, a deputy head of the Regional Hunting and Game Administration said. "Representatives of veterinary services will draw blood samples for testing," Andrei Zdorikov said, adding that all the birds shot would be destroyed the same day. He also said regional authorities would allow spring hunting in areas that had been off-limits to hunters until now, specifically along the banks and valleys on the Sakhalin Island. "We propose that the spring hunting season begin May 6-15 for migratory water fowl and May 12-21 for wood fowl," he said. Sakhalin administration officials said they believed spring hunting would help scare birds away from residential areas and prevent the spread of bird flu. On March 29, the Foreign Ministry warned of a serious spread of bird flu throughout Russia, where more than 1.3 million birds have already died or been culled since July 2005. More than 200 people have already contracted bird flu worldwide, and over 100 have died. No cases of human bird flu have been reported in Russia. Bird flu will be on the agenda of the G8's July summit in St. Petersburg. Russia currently holds the rotating presidency of the group of leading industrialized nations.
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