Hamburg dogs must be kept on leashes, as bird flu spreads

Hamburg implemented the new rule on Sunday as the H5N8 virus spreads across the country, for fear that dogs could spread the virus further if they come into contact with a dead bird. Cats are also now not permitted to wander freely.

The highly contagious H5N8 virus is transmitted by birds on migration routes heading south for the winter. The FLI also believes that infected poultry populations on farms could have either come in direct contact with infected waterfowl, or in some cases indirectly through feed and water supplies that had been polluted by wild birds.

The sub-type was first identified in Denmark. Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Poland have all also reported confirmed cases.

Several countries – like Israel, Japan and South Korea – have now forbidden the import of German chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.

In parts of Germany, agricultural authorities have ordered that all poultry be kept caged so that they do not become infected by wild birds.

On Tuesday, thousands of geese in Schleswig-Holstein were slaughtered due to concerns about the virus.

And ostrich farms have also been indirectly impacted by the virus.

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