The Czech Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday shut poultry markets and exhibitions and banned farmers from keeping flocks of fowl outside after fresh cases of bird flu were detected in the country’s south.
Veterinarians confirmed the H5N8 avian influenza in seven wild ducks and swans near the city of Ceske Budejovice and in the district of Pisek south of Prague, adding to previous cases in wild swans and one domestic poultry flock detected in the past week.
The ministry said it was also putting limits on moving poultry around and selling birds from registered large farms to small keepers.
The ban on keeping flocks outside applies to registered, larger flocks. The ministry urged all keepers to make sure that flocks do not come into contact with wild birds.
The H5N8 flu is lethal to birds but is not known to be transmissible to humans.
It has been spreading rapidly in Europe, putting the poultry industry on alert after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds.
This was the Czech Republic’s first bird flu outbreak in a year, according to Czech news site CTK.
Last year hundreds of thousands of birds were killed across Europe after numerous outbreaks in several countries of the highly infectious disease.
The H5N8 strain of bird flu is considered low-risk to humans, but is lethal for birds and can spread quickly through flocks.