Sweden culls 3,200 turkeys after finding bird flu on farm

STOCKHOLM, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Sweden has culled 3,200 turkeys after finding bird flu, authorities said on Wednesday, effectively bringing to a halt the country's poultry exports to markets outside the European Union for at least three months.

The slaughter follows a series of outbreaks of bird flu in Europe in the last few weeks, with wild birds suspected to be spreading the disease.

"So far we only have one infected farm in Sweden, but we don't know how much of the virus we have in wild fauna...so there is of course the risk of another farm getting infected," Katharina Gielen, a department head at the Swedish Board of Agriculture, told Reuters.

The disease, found in the southern Swedish region of Skane, had already killed around 1,400 turkeys on the farm before the cull began on Tuesday, she said.

Germany said it was considering culling as many as 70,000 chickens after it found the virus at yet another of its farms on Tuesday.

Other cases have been reported in France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Britain.

Swedish authorities are closely monitoring other farms in the area for signs of the virus and have asked the public to report sightings of dead birds in the wild. (Reporting by Colm Fulton,Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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