Rome, August 27 - The discovery of Avian flu in Italian poultry is not cause for alarm, a farm organization said Tuesday. Italian authorities have reacted quickly and efficiently to an outbreak of the virus to minimize the danger of infection, said the Italian Farmers Confederation (CIA). "Now we must continue on this path, implementing new health security measures, to completely contain the illness," the organization said in a statement. Health officials said Monday that some 220,000 egg-laying hens on farms near he Veneto city of Rovigo were suspected of being at high risk for bird flu and would be slaughtered. That operation followed a new outbreak of bird flu detected at a farm not far from the nearby town of Ostellato last Friday. Though tests carried out on the birds showed no signs of the disease, also known as avian influenza, authorities ordered the slaughter as part of wider preventative measures aimed at stemming its spread. The outbreaks have not posed any human risk, health authorities said.
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di Giovanni Pastore