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Bird Flu Spreads Rapidly in Canada

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Vancouver, Canada (dpa) - Bird flu has continued to spread among poultry flocks in western Canada despite all precautionary measures, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported Sunday.

The estimated number of affected chickens is put at more than 400,000, the report stated.

The option to cull the Fraser Valley of chickens was proposed by the poultry industry on Saturday after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that avian influenza had spread to 18 farms, up from five last weekend.

A decision on the depopulation plan depends on a commitment from the federal government to offer a compensation package, as it did when mad-cow disease hit Canada's beef industry last spring.

The bird flu strain affecting Canada is type H7, substantially less dangerous to humans than the strain detected in Asia.

Copyright 2004 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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