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Bird Flu Reported In Eight Regions Of Southern Russia --> Dead poultry being removed from a Daghestani farm, Feb. 26 (epa) March 9, 2006 -- Russian authorities said today bird flu cases have been registered in eight of the Southern Federal District's 13 regions.

Rospotrebnadzor, the federal agency in charge of monitoring consumer rights and welfare protection, says the most seriously affected areas are the Krasnodar Territory and the Northern Caucasus republic of Daghestan. The agency reports that over the past few weeks in those two regions alone 900,000 and 700,000 farm birds, respectively, have died of the disease or been killed as part of preventive measures.

The Emergencies Ministry says the presence of the deadly H5N1 virus has also been reported in Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Adygeya, Stavropol Territory, and the region of Astrakhan.

In nearby Georgia, the government is considering lifting the state of emergency imposed on Ajara's Khelvachauri district. Agriculture Minister Mikheil Svimonishvili says the bird flu outbreak reported there in February has been contained.

(ITAR-TASS, Interfax, Civil Georgia, Imedi TV)

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