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Bird flu risk low this winter, authorities say

The risk of an outbreak of avian influenza in Switzerland this winter is negligible, the Federal Veterinary Office has announced.

In a statement on Tuesday, it said there would be no designated risk areas with heightened security measures in response to the virus commonly known as bird flu.

It said it had based the decision on a current risk analysis and new scientific findings, but did not rule out taking further measures.

The Veterinary Office noted that wild birds seldom have contact with poultry, particularly in winter, but warned that the illegal trade of birds still posed a risk.

It also announced the launch of an information campaign directed towards poultry farmers.

Bird flu is most present in Africa and Asia, but last March a wild bird with the virus was found in Switzerland.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR