Ferrara, August 16 - The planned slaughter of some 128,000 egg-laying chickens in a farm in Ostellato near Ferrara hit by a high-risk strain of bird flu started on Friday. The farm managing company was immediately isolated by hygiene authorities when it was suspected the fowl were infected. "At the moment, the danger appears to be contained and there should not be other animals affected", said Mayor Andrea Marchi. "The process of elimination will carry on in the next days until there are no longer infected chickens", he added. "The workers are active in the afternoon and the evening, given the high temperatures registered in the chicken housing units".