Half a million chickens have been slaughtered to contain the outbreak of avian flu in Israel, while some 5,000 migratory cranes have died of the virus in the most serious threat to wildlife Israel has known, says the Agriculture Ministry spokesperson. The culling of their poultry farms has cost Moshav Margaliot in the upper Galilee, Ein Hahoresh, Bar’am and Givat Zeev their main source of livelihood. The markets show a serious shortage of eggs. There is no immediate word of human infection.
An estimated half a million cranes pass through Israel every year on their way to Africa. Roughly 30,000 cranes, as well as pelicans and other birds stay behind for winter at the Hula Lake Park sanctuary, where workers there are working hard to remove the thousands of infected carcasses which pose a threat to wildlife in the north. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett put the National Security Council in charge of the dealing with the outbreak.