16 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russia says it has slaughtered thousands of birds as fears grew that a bird flu outbreak in Siberia was threatening to spread to the more densely populated European part of the country.
The Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement that authorities have already culled more than 11,000 birds.
It added that measures were being taken to stop the spread of the virus among domestic fowl and to prevent cases among humans.
On 15 August, the Russian government revealed that the H5N1 strain had spread to the Ural region of Chelyabinsk Oblast.
Russia's leading epidemiologist Gennadii Onishchenko warned the bird flu outbreak in Siberia could spread through Russia's agricultural areas and reach areas in the Middle East and southern Europe.