Veterinarians have confirmed bird flu in a small farm in southeast Prague.

Veterinarians have confirmed the presence of avian influenza at a poultry farm in Benice, southeast of Prague. There was 54 poultry on the farm, the breeders reported the deaths of two poultry to the veterinarians, and the remaining poultry was slaughtered. Petr Vorlíček, a spokesman for the State Veterinary Administration, said. The number of detected bird flu outbreaks in the Czech Republic has risen to 16 this year.

“After the deaths of two poultry were reported, veterinary inspectors took samples from the breed and sent them to the State Veterinary Institute in Prague for testing, which subsequently confirmed avian influenza of the H5N1 subtype,” Vorlíček said.

He said measures had been taken on the farms to prevent the spread of the disease. “Closed zones” will be defined around the outbreak, and emergency veterinary measures will be taken, he added.

The previous two outbreaks occurred last week on small farms in Okrouhlice, in the Havlíčkobrodsko region. One farm had 11 animals, including ducks and hens, while the other had 116 hens.

The state veterinary administration has banned outdoor poultry farming throughout the country since December 14 last year because of the spread of bird flu.

There were 20 outbreaks in the country last year. At the end of the year, the largest bird flu outbreak in the country to date was confirmed at a large chicken farm in Brod nad Tichou in the Tachov region. Almost 750 000 laying hens had to be slaughtered by veterinarians.