Sweden to lower bird flu alert level

Business Materials 18 April 2008 14:09 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Swedish authorities Friday said they would lower the alert level for bird flu from next week, saying there had been no reports of increased deaths among poultry or wild fowl.

The Board of Agriculture said the protection level would be lowered from level 2 to 1, meaning that poultry and other bird exhibitions and competitions will be allowed.

Ducks and geese were however to be kept apart from other poultry, the board said.

Breeders engaged in ecological poultry production were to be allowed to let their birds range freely, but behind fencing.

Food and water should be dispensed indoors or in sheltered areas.

There have been no cases of the H5N1 virus that can also harm humans on birds tested in Sweden during 2007 and early 2008, Agriculture Board veterinary Christina Thorn said in a statement.

The protection level was raised in December after reports of bird flu in Germany and Poland.